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Louisiana Anthology

Sarah L. Wadley.
Private Journal of Sarah L. Wadley.

Private Journal
Sarah L. Wadley

from My Father
Louisiana, 1859

August 8, 1859 — May 15, 1865

Manuscript volume No. 1
August, 1859 — June, 1861, pp. 1-143


Sarah L. Wadley

Sarah Lois Wadley.
Sarah Lois Wadley. 1844-1920.

Monday, Aug. 8th 1859. Amite

A month since, we had the pleasure of receiving a visit from Uncles Moses and Dole; while here they invited me to go north with them this Summer; I declined, thinking that I could not leave school so long, but as Uncle Dole wrote from Georgia and again invited me, and as I wished very much to go, Father and Mother gave me permission.

We expect Uncle Dole about the seventeenth of the month. I anticipate with great pleasure the trip up the Mississippi and the meeting with my relatives; it is now three years since I have seen any of them except Grandma; and my cousins must have altered very much. Uncle Pike now owns an extensive farm, and lives in the largest house in the village, his son Charley, now in his sixteenth year has grown from childhood into youth since I saw him; cousin Eddie Joselyn when I saw him last, was a handsome intelligent child of eleven years, he has probably by this time grown into a tall mannish youth, little Bertie has grown much; they have no doubt forgotten that cousin Sarah has also grown, and will scarcely recognise in me their favorite playfellow of former days.

I can picture in my mind the grassy hills and the large lilac bushes of my birthplace, but no doubt they are also changed, and new houses will take the place of green lanes, ornamental shrubbery will have grown where the purple lilacs used to bloom. Strangers will say “How much the village has improved since I last saw it”. But to me associations of pleasure cluster around the Snug little house with its painted floors and border of currant bushes and in this as in every thing else I am averse to change.

With me that which I have used for many years becomes sacred; a time-worn book which has for many years been my constant companion becomes a cherished friend and seems to me capable almost of human emotions. —

Arrival at Vicksburg — Visit to the house — Proposed Route to N. H.
Tuesday, Aug. 23rd / 59. Vicksburg.

We have at last commenced our journey and are nearly two hundred miles on the way. Vicksburg posseses much interest to me now, for it is soon to be my home. I have just returned from looking at our house, I like it very much indeed, there is a very pretty little garden on one side, and a small grass plot with beautiful cedar trees, on the other; I think that we shall be very comfortably situated when we remove to it.

Father, Uncle Dole and myself arrived in Vicksburg at eight o’clock last night, we had a very dusty ride from Amite to Jackson, which place we reached at about six o’clock, the rest of the way was very pleasant; we are staying at the Washington House and do not expect to leave until tomorrow as there will be no boat until then.

I expect to enjoy myself very much, Uncle Dole is very kind indeed, we are to go up the Mississippi to Rock Island, thence to Chicago by railroad, and also by railroad to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, thence to Montreal probably by the St. Lawrence river, thence to Portland, Maine, and then to South Newmarket. How delightful it will be to visit Montreal, how strange it will be to me, for I have never yet been out of my native country; Niagara too, and the Father of Waters, the great western prairies and the wide expanse of the great lakes all will be new to me and I shall enjoy it very much. Uncle Dole thinks we shall arrive in New Hampshire about the fifteenth of September and return to Georgia in October, so that I shall have a whole month of pleasure, and pleasure too as new, as delightful; I must write to Mother now and tell her about my journey.

Father and Uncle visit Morton — Mrs. Smyley, her family — Mr. Boulineau & wife.
Wednesday, Aug. 24th, Vicksburg.

Since writing the above I have learned that we are to stay here until Friday, Uncle Dole says that the City of Memphis is an old boat and that the Morrison, which will be here Friday twelve o’clock is far preferable, besides he and Father wish to go out to Morton the present terminus of the Southern road, to look at some lands and do not feel very anxious to get off; they left for Morton this evening at three o’clock and will be absent until tomorrow night.

Yesterday I was quite lonely and the time passed heavily but today has been very pleasant. A lady from Mississippi called Mrs. Smyley, her two sons, one grown and the other a little boy, and Miss Crawford a young lady travelling with her, came here last night, I saw them this morning and passed five hours in their company so that the time seemed shorter.

Mrs. Smyley is a very cultivated and pleasant lady; Miss Crawford is young, just two years from school, very well educated but not easy in her manners and conversation, or tasty in her dress this is almost her first journey, she was however quite pleasant and communicative, the young man appeared to be intent upon his own affairs and neglected his Mother and her friend very much leaving them to manage for themselves, his Mother idolizes him and thinks him perfect, although according to Miss Crawford he is both high tempered and dissipated. They went away on the City of Memphis.

Mr. Boulineau, his wife and two children came today, Mr. B. is a gentleman from Savannah whom Father is going to employ on the Southern road.

Visit to the house — Visit to Mrs. Boulineau — Father and Uncle arrive — determine to take the Cap.

Packet Capitol, Aug 26th/59 —

Yesterday I was prevented from writing by several things, In the morning I went out immediately after breakfast, to Mr. Reading’s old house and remained there until after twelve when I dressed for dinner; after dinner, being very much fatigued I went to my room, intending to lie down, but before I had put my clothes away I recollected Mrs. Boulineau and went to her room which I did not leave until time to dress for tea. At eight o’clock or half past Father and Uncle Dole came, I was very glad indeed to see them. Uncle Dole has bought a place near Morton. As the Capitol is a very fine boat we concluded not to wait for the Morrison but to come on the Capitol, it was half past five when we came on board. I have a good stateroom indeed.

I should like to write more but the boat shakes too much.

Description of Company — Scenery — Number of Steamers passed —
Packet Capitol. Aug. 27th /59.

We have not many passengers and I am glad that we have not, because I should not then have my stateroom to myself. The company is not very pleasant and I have formed no acquaintance with any of them, there are two young ladies on board who are going to school, one of them came and spoke to me yesterday, asking me quite a number of questions all of which I answered but asked none in return.

The scenery upon the river is not very much varied, it consists chiefly of plantations of cotton wood which are so straight and so near of a size that seem as if planted by the hand of man, moderately high bluffs, and sandy stretches of shore covered with an apparently recent growth of bright green, sometimes the shore slopes to the water’s edge, and being covered with green and shaded by large trees it looks very pretty, I have seen very little cane since we left Vicksburg.

We have just left Napoleon, in Arkansas and have Mississippi for our left shore and Arkansas for our right. We passed three steamers yesterday and six today. —

Arrival at Memphis —

Memphis Tenn. Aug. 28 —

We arrived here at about ten o’clock this morning and should have been here by eight, but for an accident which happened last night and which detained us for some time.

Snag — Loss of cook — Cayoso house —

The boat was going very fast indeed, when she struck a very large snag which came through the guards just forward of the wheel-house and through the kitchen of boat, it was some time before it could be cut away, and in its passage broke nearly all the glass and some of the crockery; there was but one person hurt, who was the head cook, and who could not be found; it was thought that when the snag entered, it injured him in some way, and that he being very much frightened at the crash jumped overboard, and being unable to swim he probably drowned. We are stopping at the Cayoso House.

Arrive at St. Louis. Planter’s House — Journey.
Planter’s House, St. Louis, Aug 31st.

I was obliged to hurry my journal of the 28th very much because I had that evening written to Father and Mother and it was dusk when I commenced my journal, and as we have been travelling upon the railroad for the last few days I have not written again until now.

I shall copy a letter to Mother which I have just finished.

My dear Mother,

We are now in St. Louis, and are stopping at the Planter’s House, we arrived at three o’clock yesterday evening and will probably remain until tomorrow morning, seven o’clock.

I wrote to you and Father at Memphis, informing you of our safe arrival at that place; we left there at half past five Monday morning, at about half past two we arrived at Columbus, Kentucky.

The road from Memphis to Columbus lay through Tennessee and a little of Kentucky — the country was cool and pleasant, so cool indeed that I was none too warm with my thick dress and heavy gray cape.

A noisy party — Uncle Dole — his notice of ladies — he is taken for my brother

We had a very pleasant quiet ride until we come to a place called Trenton, where our quiet was effectually ended by an influx of five boisterous Tennessee females, and more than that number of males, their loud talking, shouts of merriment, and discordant songs drowned the voice of the iron horse, and perfectly astounded Uncle Dole who said several times, that the people could not be sober, indeed, their behavior forcibly reminded me of my imaginations of the feasts of Bacchus in olden times. I learned from their conversation that they were from Jackson Tenn. and had been attending a Baptist convention at Trenton; so much for Tennessee and her children.

But before I go on, I must tell you how observant Uncle Dole is, he notices the ladies so much, and makes so many remarks upon them and their manners, that I told him one day that he most have some reason for such particular observation, “Oh No” he said “I always liked to look at them”; every one takes him for my brother, a young lady on board the steamer Capitol asked me if “that gentleman” was not my brother, when I told her that he was my Uncle she was perfectly astonished, “she thought he was too young for my Uncle”; another person asked if he was my brother or my husband; yesterday when we came here, Uncle Dole went to get our rooms and left me in the parlor, presently the proprietor came and asked me if I had not a brother with me? Although laughing to myself at his mistake I did not set him right, and he showed me to my room with great affability.

Journey — Centralia — Prairie ride — the “skittish” horse —

I have wandered so far from my route that I expect you will have to turn back before you remember that I was at Columbus last, we went on board the steamer W. A. Eaves at this place, and after a ride of nearly three hours we arrived at Cairo; while on this boat I made the acquaintance of a New York lady whom Uncle Dole said was the best looking and the best lady we had seen since we left home.

At Cairo we took the five o’clock train for Centralia where we stopped that night.

It is a considerable town, and the house where we stayed was a good country tavern. I have never enjoyed a better nights sleep than I enjoyed there.

As the morning train for St. Louis did not start until nine; and Centralia was situated in the midst of a prairie, Uncle Dole thought he would try and get a conveyance, so as to show me the country; accordingly he went out and succeeded in getting a light buggy and a young horse, which — according to the owner’s definition “Is rather skittish but there ain’t nothin’ bad about him”; we drove some ways out of the town and saw very pretty little farms and a team of four oxen breaking up the prairie. We were about half way back, when we heard a whistle and saw the train upon which we wished to take passage coming slowly up to the station.

Uncle Dole now attempted to drive the “skittish” horse a little faster, for he had been walking since we left the house, whereupon he threw up his head and began to make some demonstration of temper by leaping out of the road, but as he was fortunately very easily controlled he soon ceased these gyrations and consented to come into the road again, but upon the least application of the whip he would renew them, and did not seem at all inclined to put himself in a hurry, how provoking it was! there we were in sight of the train and only a quarter of a mile distant, and if, as Uncle Dole said, we had “had a horse that was a horse” we might easily have reached the train, but we were obliged to endure all the tortures of suspense, while our horse, wholly unconcerned, trotted leisurely along. However, very fortunately for us, the train stopped at Centralia for breakfast and we reached the station in time to get on board the cars a few moments before they started, although we were very glad of this it was almost as bad to have to endure the fear of being left as to be actually left; Uncle Dole said that he had acted against his better judgment in that case, and that he never would do so again.

I forgot to tell you about the weather in Illinois, we reached Centralia at ten o’clock at night, and though I was wrapped up in my thickest clothes I trembled all over, and my teeth actually chattered with the cold. I also had some excellent fruit in Illinois. Uncle Dole gave me one of the largest Indian peaches I have ever seen, while peeling it I had some difficulty to prevent the juice from running through my fingers, it was delicious, and the apples! I wish I could send you some.

I was very much pleased with the country from Centralia to St. Louis; the first part of the way the prairies extended as far as the eye could reach, and were dotted here and there by herds of cattle which were grazing quietly upon the rich pasturage, now and then we saw a little farm house, and sometimes enormous fields of the best kind of corn with Hay fields newly mown and large stacks of hay around.

Illinois people. Reasons for travelling by land. Ride to fair ground St. L.

As we went farther on, the ground became rolling the houses, fields and cattle very numerous and we saw some fine orchards of peach and apple trees, the peaches looked as if bearing down the limbs with their weight and many red cheeks gleamed through the dark foliage of the apple trees, the stations along the road were all prosperous little towns, the people looked sober healthful, and industrious, in a word everything denoted the presence of a healthy enterprising spirit throughout the state. —

I have not mentioned in my journal the reason why we came to St. Louis by railroad instead of Steamboat, Uncle Dole was told that It was very dangerous to navigate the river above Memphis on account of the low water and the numerous snags, a proof of this danger we had already had, and although I had not written either Father or Mother about our accident, I thought they might see it in the papers, and I knew that they would be alarmed if they knew that we were on the river, therefore, as Uncle Dole left the decision with me, I concluded to come by land.

After dinner Uncle Dole and I went out to ride, and to see what was to be seen in St. Louis, we rode through the city and out to the fair ground, which is the pride of the place, it is indeed a very pretty and pleasant enclosure; St Louis is a large place and has same very fine stores but I do not think that I should like to live here.

I must now put away my writing for it is now pretty late and we leave here at seven tomorrow morning. —

Leave St. L. Appearance of country — prairies — Arrival at Chicago.

Richmond House, Chicago, Sep. 2nd / 59 —

We left St. Louis at seven o’clock yesterday morning on the Steamer Baltimore for Alton. After a ride of two hours we reached that place, a town of about the size of Vicksburg and almost as hilly. We then took the cars upon the St. Louis, Alton and Chicago R. R. for Chicago, the country consisted principally of grassy slopes thinly wooded, and small prairies.

Towards the close of the day we came through very extensive prairies one of them more than twelve miles through, and the boundaries of which could scarcely be discerned on either side.

It was after ten o’clock when I was waked from my comfortable nap by the bustle in the cars, and looking round perceived that everyone was gathering up their wrappers and placing themselves in attitudes of readiness. Uncle Dole informed me that we were entering into Chicago; and at last the train stopped; “Chicago” said a man coming into the car with a lantern.

Then came the hurry to leave the train, the contact with the cold cutting air, and the tedious ride through the silent, deserted streets, it was after eleven when we reached the Richmond house, we were shown to my room, where we waited, cold, tired and sleepy for more than half an hour for our baggage, at last it came. Uncle Dole went to his room really sick; and on looking into the glass I saw such a haggard, blue face that I quickly withdrew my gaze; a good night’s sleep however in a soft warm bed was all I needed and I woke this morning very much refreshed. Uncle Dole has been unwell all day, he has been obliged to take medicine and has been keeping a strict fast.

Dr. Smith — Court house. Churches — Curious stone — Appearance of Chicago.

This afternoon we drove round the city, but before going anywhere else Uncle Dole called on a Doctor Smith a young friend of his from South Newmarket, and obtained him as a chaperone during our ride; we went first to the Court house, and on arriving at the top of the building we had a view of the whole of Chicago. It is a much larger place than I expected to see, a river runs through the town, which divides into two branches, and forms the North, South, and west sides of Chicago; we drove through a great many streets only a few of which I can recollect, upon Michigan and Wabash Avenues we saw very many fine residences, the former street runs along the side of the lake, of which we had a very good view. Upon Lake Street we saw some very fine stores, there are some handsome Churches here, mostly Presbyterian, although Dr Smith informed me that there are some Episcopal ones on the north side which are handsomer than those which we saw, there is one fine Methodist Church, and a very pretty Universalist one, but I was most pleased with the second Presbyterian Church, it is built of a peculiar kind of stone, found as Dr Smith told me, only in this locality, a kind of bitumen oozes out of the stone in warm weather, (although it is solid, and good building material) which gives it a blackened and ancient appearance, the architecture too is rather peculiar, it has one lofty spire and numerous smaller points which rise from all parts of the building, this, together with the gray stone and its painted glass windows, gives it a venerable and antique appearance which is to me very pleasing.

Chicago does not look like a very new place as I expected it would, it is true that nearly all the buildings are put up in modern style, but then they look substantial, and not like mushrooms which spring up and die in a day, I am very much pleased with the place.

Richmond House — Leave Chicago — Arrive at Detroit. Visit a Catholic Church by mistake — Cold. Arrival at So. Newmarket — Description of journey from Detroit — Niagara — Cold —

We are stopping at a very nice house, it is so quiet and so free from the crowd; we have a table to ourselves at breakfast, dinner and supper, and though the house is full we are not troubled by noisy servants or rude neighbors. We have excellent coffee and milk and good fare, and the servants are very civil and as attentive as can be expected at a public house.

The chambermaid informed me today while she was lacing my dress that this is the only house in the place where negro waiters are employed.

Biddle House, Detroit Sep. 4th/59 —

It is two weeks tomorrow since I left home and in seven days we shall be in New Hampshire. We left Chicago yesterday morning at eight o’clock, and arrived here at about half past seven in the evening, tomorrow we shall leave for Niagara Falls, perhaps we shall stop at Buffalo.

This morning Uncle Dole ordered a carriage to take us to the Presbyterian Church, the carriage did not come and as we were afraid of being late we thought that we could find it and walked along up the street. We soon came to a large brick building, which Uncle Dole said was a Methodist Church. We entered thinking that this would do as well as any, and applied to the sexton for a seat he conducted us through the door and into the vestibule which was crowded, when we arrived at the inner door and I looked into the supposed Methodist Church I was very much surprised to see the light of candles in midday. On looking further I perceived the figure of Jesus painted on a cross and the virgin standing at the foot. I immediately comprehended that we were in a Catholic Church. We were however unable to draw back now and we followed the sexton through the crowded aisle until at a seat. I should like to describe the service, but it is now late and I cannot write any longer; besides I have a very bad cold and do not feel well.

South Newmarket, N. H.
Wednesday Sep. 14th/59.

Ten days since I wrote in my journal! A long time it seems to count the days, but a very short one it has been to me, every moment of my time has been so fully occupied that I could scarcely find time to send short and half written despatches to Mother; but at length we have arrived at South Newmarket, and as Uncle Moses and Dole have gone to Boston this morning I find time to write up my journal since leaving Detroit.

We left this place at quarter past eight on Monday morning, in order to reach the railroad upon which we were to travel (the Great Western) we were obliged to go across the river to a place called Windsor, which is situated in Canada.

When we had ferried nearly across, a gentleman came into the saloon whom Uncle Dole recognized as Mr. Congdon, a gentleman from Massachusetts originally, but who resided in Savannah for some time. Father thinks him a fine man, he is one of Miss Clark’s particular friends. We had the pleasure of his company as far as Suspension bridge; during the conversation he remarked how very much I looked like my Mother, and said that he should know me from my resemblance to her, he also said that he should have known Miss Clark had taught me because my conversation and manners are so much like hers.

I did not like the looks of Canada nearly so much as I did those of Illinois. We arrived at Suspension bridge at nearly four o’clock, here we parted from Mr. Congdon and entering an omnibus were driven to the Clifton, which is situated on the Canada side a mile and a half from the bridge and very near the falls, of which we had a beautiful view from the piazza in front of our rooms.

After a good night’s sleep we arose the next morning prepared to visit and admire the falls. The locality of Niagara is so well known that no description need be given either of it, or the country around. Suffice it to say, that we visited the museum, went under the horseshoe fall, visited table rock, Lundy’s lane battle ground, the burning spring, the suspension bridge, Coat Island, Terrapin tower and descended Biddle’s stairs that morning. We returned home just in time to dress for dinner at three o’clock.

In the afternoon my cold, which had become worse since we left Detroit, gave me much trouble I had to go to bed and suffered all the afternoon with fever and a bad headache. I went down to tea, however, and a cup of hot coffee and a good night’s sleep, did me a great deal of good.

After breakfast we walked down to the ferry house, and were rowed across the river in a little skiff. I felt somewhat afraid when we went up so near the fall in order to reach the eddy, but there was no danger and we crossed in safety.

Maid of the Mist — Leave Niagara — Opinion of the falls —

We went immediately on board the “Maid of the Mist” and as there were several other couples we all put on waterproof cloaks with a hood of the same, and went up on deck. The view from the maid of the mist was nothing for when we were not blinded by the mist the sun shining upon the white foam was so dazzling that no mortal eyes could look upon it, the cool spray bath was very pleasant, though, and I did not regret going. When the little steamer came back to her moorings, we threw off our oilskin cloaks, arrayed ourselves in hats and bonnets and sallied forth. We ascended the inclined plane, not by the cars but by the steps as I preferred that way although long and tiresome, to the car, which might have been safe although it looked very dangerous. After spending nearly two hours in the delightful grounds at the top of the inclined plane, we descended and were ferried back to the Canada side. I went to my room and had just sealed a hurried letter to Mother when Uncle Dole came for me to go to dinner.

We left Niagara at half past one A.M. Wednesday the 7th of September.

I had been dreading to visit The Falls ever since I left home, because I feared to be disappointed. It was not the beauty of Niagara more than equaled my expectations, but then my cold prevented my enjoying it as much as I should otherwise have done, still I liked it very much, there was however one great drawback to enjoyment at Niagara, there is so much that is beautiful, wonderful and grand scattered around this place that in endeavoring to see enjoy the whole you cannot enjoy any part sufficiently and become in a manner surfeited or more properly overcome with the excess of beauty. The mind and eye become alike wearied and are contented nay anxious to be still, perhaps I should not speak this, it may be that others do not feel, these however were my sensations as near as they can be expressed.

I always enjoy things more when I can step by step unfold and appreciate them.

But I must leave Niagara, although I have but sketched the outlines of our visit there, and describe our journey down the St. Lawrence.

Journey down the St. Lawrence.

Leaving Niagara at half past one, in the omnibus, we proceeded to Suspension bridge, which we crossed and arriving on the other side waited in the omnibus, (for there was no depot) until the cars came. We then took our seats in the car, and after riding five miles we arrived at a place where we left the cars and took the omnibus for Lewiston where we took the steamer New York for the St. Lawrence river.

Lewiston is situated near the mouth of the Niagara river. It was at Queenston, opposite Lewiston, that the British general, Isaac Brock fell, in the bloody battle of 1812, his monument stands on Queenston heights a little above the town.

I shall wait until tomorrow to describe the St. Lawrence, for it is now two o’clock and I must go over to Aunt Lydia’s and practice.

On the River — Arrive at Montreal — leave for New H. Arrive —
So. Newmarket, Tuesday Sep. 20th/59 —

I have not been able to write in my journal for the last few days and so I have given up ever writing about the St. Lawrence and Montreal; a few words about these must suffice.

We left Lewiston at 2 o’clock, Wednesday the 7th of Sep. on the steamer New York, crossed the lake and touched at Toronto before sunset, remained on the New York until about ten the next morning when we arrived at Ogdensburgh, where we went on board the steamer Welland, which boat conveyed us through the rapids to Montreal.

We arrived at Montreal at seven o’clock Thursday afternoon; remained there until three o’clock Friday afternoon, when we left the place and pursued our way our way on the Grand Trunk railway. We stopped Friday night at Island Pond in Vermont, the first time, by the way, that I ever visited the Green mountain state.

We left Island Pond at seven o’clock Saturday morning, arrived at Portland, Maine at two, took dinner there and hurried on to So. Newmarket, where we arrived at about six o’clock Saturday evening. Sunday we stayed quietly at home, Monday my two Uncles, Aunt Satira and I visited the Navy yard, I was very much pleased with it. Tuesday we all stayed at home, Wednesday Uncles Moses and Dole went to Boston.

Visits — Dover and the print works — Sermon — Haverhill — Concord

Thursday my two uncles, Aunt Lydia and I went to see my Father’s old relations. We went to see Uncle Colcord, Aunt Judy Morrill, Cousin Oliver Wadley and Aunt Jose Wadley, this occupied a whole day and when we arrived at home late in the evening I was very much tired.

The day following, which was Friday, we all rose early in the morning and left for Dover, here we spent a day. We went to the print works, where we saw the art of printing caliko exhibited, in all its stages from the engraving on steel to the packing up of the cloth.

Saturday we stayed at home and I busied myself with altering my travelling Dress. I had to make it at least a half an inch larger in the body.

Sunday Aunt Lydia attended morning service in the Methodist Church, we heard a sermon the text of which was taken from the gospel of St. John, sixth Chapter, 37th verse.

Monday, Aunt Satira and I went to visit some cousins in Haverhill. We spent the day with Mrs. Chase, and in the afternoon herself and husband took us out riding to see the town in general and their children in particular. It was night when we returned home, willing to rest ourselves by a comfortable night’s sleep.

Tuesday, today, my Uncles and myself went to Concord, we spent two or three hours very pleasantly there; after Uncle Moses had attended to some business, we went to the penitentiary, it was quite sorrowful to see so many men there and to know what brought them, especially because so many of them looked young, it is better however that they should be there than out in the world.

Friday Sep. 23rd.

Since Tuesday we have had very bad weather until then it had been unusually pleasant, we had had nothing but sunshine, but Wednesday, Thursday, and today have been rainy, we have remained at home.

Bad weather. So. Newmarket — its schools — Dress making —
Wednesday, Oct. 5th. So. Newmarket,

When I wrote in my journal last, I was not expecting to remain here until now, but we have been unavoidably detained day after day until October has come in and found us still here, but before many weeks have passed I expect to find myself in Georgia. The routine of our lives has been broken by visits to Exeter and Portland, by one letter from home, and by visits to a few of the neighbors.

Monday night Aunt Lydia and myself went to see Mr. and Mrs. Paul, they were at home and seemed glad to see me. Yesterday afternoon Aunt Lydia and I went into the schools of South Newmarket, there are three, but we only went into two the most advanced scholars in the place are taught by Miss Judkins; and the tiny little boys and girls by Miss Emily Smith. With the exception of these two calls I have been very busy indoors for the last few days making me a dress; it is my first attempt at dress making and it is quite hard work for me. I cannot write any longer now for I am anxious to finish my dress and must go to work.

Leave So. N. Arrive at Boston — Leave — Arrive at Worcester. Leave. In N.Y.

Monday. October 10th /59 We are to leave here tomorrow morning at six o’clock for the “Sunny South"

New York, Thursday, Oct. 13th/59.

My Uncles Moses and Dole and myself left South Newmarket at twenty minutes past six Tuesday morning. Grandma is to meet us here this morning for she did not wish to stop at either Boston or Worcester, preferring to come through with Mr. Fiefield, a gentleman from South Newmarket who is going South with us.

We arrived at Boston at eight o’clock, and stopped at the American House, where we had an excellent dinner; we left for Worcester at about three o’clock In the afternoon. While in Boston both my Uncles had their Ambrotypes taken and gave them to me. Uncle Dole’s is a very handsome picture and a perfect likeness, Uncle Moses’ is a very good likeness but an imperfect picture, he is going to have another taken for me in Savannah.

We arrived in Worcester at about quarter of four o’clock, here there were no carriages in waiting at the depot, and in order to reach the stable we were obliged to ride in the only vehicle to be found which was an express wagon, accordingly we mounted up and drove through the principal street to the nearest stable, where we exchanged our wagon for a more suitable conveyance and drove out to Mr. Clark’s residence two and a half miles from the center of the city but still within the corporated limits.

We found both Mr. Clark and his wife very well, and remained with them until about six o’clock when we returned to the depot and at seven o’clock were speeding on our way to Norwich, where we arrived at about ten o’clock and took the steamer for New York. We arrived here yesterday (Wednesday) morning at about eight o’clock, and are stopping at the Astor House.

Barnum’s Museum. Large man. Ivory balls. Stewart’s. Grandma arrives.

After a few hours rest we went out to Barnum’s Museum and spent some time very pleasantly in looking at the curiosties, to enumerate these would be impossible, there were two things however which must not pass over without notice; the first was an ivory ball, or rather set of balls, cut by the chinese, it was twenty balls one within the other all finely carved with different patterns there were round holes through each ball showing the one within and there could be no doubt but that it was carved from a solid piece of ivory.

The second curiosity was a man, seven feet and some inches tall and perfectly proportioned he had no surplus flesh about, Uncle Dole felt of his arm and said that it was as solid as a rock, he seemed pleased to show his strength for he squeezed both my Uncle’s hands until the fingers ached, he shook hands with me, but mercifully refrained from grasping my hand too firmly; we were told that he was from Arabia and belonged to some military company of Massachusetts.

From the Museum we went to Stewart’s where I purchased some articles which Mother sent for, I could not however fill her order there and am going to Genin’s bazaar this morning. My Uncles went out yesterday to secure state rooms for us, but they were all engaged except some in the lower cabin, and we are waiting for Grandma to come in order that she may choose between the steamer and the land route; it is time for her to be here and I cannot imagine why she does not come.

Grandma has arrived, they were detained by a fog this morning. We leave here at six this evening, and are going by the land route.

Genin’s. Leave N.Y. Down the Potomac. Stop at Richmond. Leave there.

I went to Genin’s this morning and bought two cloaks one for Miss Mary and one for Eva. I hope that the things will suit Mother.

Scarboro, Georgia. Thursday Oct. 20th /59.

Leaving New York Thursday the 13th, we went right on to Richmond Va. without stopping except to change cars. We passed through Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Havre de Grace, Baltimore and Washington. We passed through Washington early in the morning, in riding through the place we had a view of the Capitol, I thought it a splendid edifice but would have been much better satisfied if I could have gone inside and examined it.

At Washington we took the Steamer for Aquia, the Steamer was named Mt. Vernon. I always had a desire to see and travel upon the Potomac river and although this was far from being the most beautiful part yet I was much pleased with it, some day I hope to go as far up as Harper’s Ferry.

We touched at Alexandria and passed by Mt. Vernon. Of the latter place we had a very good view, from the river, I thought the situation a very pretty one, I should like very much to visit the place.

At Aquia we took the cars again, crossed the Rappahannock and Pamunky rivers and arrived at Richmond at about two o’clock in the afternoon.

Although we stopped at Richmond at two o’clock in the afternoon and remained there until four the next morning, Grandma and I did not go out of the Exchange Hotel for we were very much fatigued and wished to rest.

Leaving Richmond in the cars at half past four Saturday morning we pursued our way through Virginia and the Carolinas.

Journey through the Carolinas. Arrive at Augusta — at Scarborough.

I liked the country through North Carolina very well, we passed through that part in which turpentine is made.

South Carolina I did not like so well; Wilmington was the only city which we passed through. We arrived at Augusta at about one o’clock Sunday afternoon, and after eating dinner at the “Augusta Hotel” we left on the cars for Millen where we changed cars and arrived here at dark Sunday evening. At Millen our party separated, Uncle Dole went down to his place, and Uncle Moses came to Scarboro with Grandma and I. We were all pretty well tired, for we had been travelling right on, for two days and a night.

Visit to Savannah —
Scarboro, Oct. 26th /59.

I remained at Scarboro until Friday, when Aunt Mary and I went down to Savannah; we left here at about six o’clock, Friday evening and arrived at S. at half past nine. I went to the Pulaski House with Aunt Mary and spent the night, and in the morning we went out to Grandma’s house. We had a long walk and were quite tired when we arrived there.

Grandma and Lois were both at home. I did not go out at all Saturday; Sunday Lois and I went Sunday School and Church. Monday, we spent the morning calling on Mother’s old friends, in the afternoon we had company, and after they left, Lois and I went to Mrs. Roger’s to tea. We did not return until late and then went to bed thoroughly tired out.

Tuesday morning just as we were sitting down to breakfast, Uncle Dole came to the door, I went up to open it for him, he had not time to come in, but we stood talking for some time, he said that Aunt Mary was going up that morning and that he would go up in the night, and that I must either go with Aunt Mary or alone, of course I chose to go with her.

We left Savannah at twelve o’clock Tuesday morning and arrived at Scarboro at about half past three o’clock in the afternoon.

Gordon, Ga. Nov. 2nd /59 —

I have not yet left Georgia, but it will not be many days before, for the third time, I turn my back upon this lovely state and face again the “far West”.

Last Friday Aunt Mary and I left Scarborough for Jefferson County, for the purpose of visiting my bachelor Uncles. We arrived at the station at about half past nine o’clock, and after a cold ride of two miles, we were hospitably welcomed to a bright fire and a supper which to hungry persons like us, was very acceptable.

We spent Saturday and Sunday in Jefferson and left early Monday morning; but it will not do to pass over that eventful morning so briefly. Sunday was a very cold day and Sunday night of course still colder. Aunt Mary and I were afraid of being left and we rose perhaps a little earlier than necessary. At any rate we were up and dressed at twenty minutes of three. We then went into the parlor and searched for wood to make a fire; we had succeeded in kindling a little blaze over which we were warming our benumbed hands, when Uncle Dole entered the room, he went out for some wood and soon returned with an armful, which he threw on the andirons and we soon had a blazing fire. We spent about an hour in getting thoroughly warmed before we set out for the depot, well bundled up in shawls and blankets. Oh the horrors of that ride! they will never be effaced from my memory; the place where we had left the cars coming up, was not a regular station, and we had to ride to another, which was further off.

Imagine a ride of three miles over a road by turns sandy and rooty, before sunrise and in freezing weather, and you may form a faint idea of our feelings during that weary ride.

Uncle Dole drove us, and I think he deserves the highest praise for the exemplary patience with which he bore the cold and Jolts. But all things have an end, and at last we reached the station, and sitting by a fire in the warehouse we almost forget the discomforts we had endured.

The whistle of the engine was soon heard, and hastily stepping on the train we said good morning to Uncle Dole, and were soon speeding on our way towards Washington Co. Just as I was seating myself some one said “Good morning, Miss Sarah” and looking around I recognized a conducter who served under Father, when he was superintendent of the Central road. It is so pleasant to be recognised by old acquaintances.

At about seven o’clock we arrived at Robison’s Turnout, and were met by old General Robison, he took us up to his house, and after breakfast, Aunt Mary and I exchanged our travelling dresses for caliko ones, and accompanied by a negro girl as guide we went out for a walk. Oh! how joyous I felt, to see again my Georgia hills, to breathe once more the air which infuses new life, and makes my blood flow with quicker, warmer feeling through my veins.

In the afternoon we went out to ride, we passed the old place on our way to one of the neighbors, how natural it looked. I almost stopped my breath as I gazed upon it, and imagined the past two years as a dream, and that we were once more at the dear old home, and I was but returning from a trip to Savannah. But no, we have left it forever and it is better so, but the tears will start when I think of the happy days I have spent there.

I would not go up to the house, to have seen it in the possession of strangers would have been more than I could bear, but I could not leave without going to the spring, the dear spring, every tree of which was a friend, every step of ground hallowed by remembrances of the past. I followed a little by path which led to the spring and which I had often traveled before, everything was perfectly familiar and I hastened on, picturing to myself how everything would look. At length I reached the little stream which ran down from the spring, crossed where I had often crossed before, and stood at the fence; could I be right? Could this wilderness of cane and underbrush be the beautiful spot which we had all loved and cherished so long? Yes, it was sadly changed indeed, but still the same; but why dwell upon my disappointment, why recount the sadness with which I viewed the change.

I ascended the hill, skirted the orchard and giving one last lingering look at the old home, I climbed the fence and hurried on to where the carriage was waiting.

We remained at the General’s until the next morning, and then left on the seven o’clock train. We arrived at Gordon at about eight, and Aunt Mary remained with me about four hours, when she returned home. My Uncles and myself leave here tomorrow night, I think that we shall go down the Alabama river.

Steamer Coquette, Alabama river Nov. 5th/

We left Gordon, as we intended, on Thursday night. I am rejoiced to be again with my Uncles, and to be on my way to the loved ones at home; I am anxious to see them all again.

As I expected, we have come by the Alabama river, I think it is the pleasantest route, and am glad that my Uncles decided upon it.

The Coquette is a very good boat, but it is rather too much crowded. Uncle Moses was not able to get me a stateroom alone. Last night I had a very agreeable young lady with me, but she stopped at Selma, and I thought that I should be alone the rest of the way, but no, a number of passengers came on at Selma, and a lady with three children was put in my room; the lady although not very intelligent is neat and modest, and the children are pretty, well behaved little things, so that it is not so bad as it might be.

In travelling one must learn to bear little inconveniences patiently, or they can have but little enjoyment.

Mobile, Monday, Nov. 7th ——

We arrived here at about one o’clock last night, and left the boat in time to eat breakfast. We are stopping at the Battle House.

When Father and I went to Georgia last year we stopped at this house, a day, and I think I have the same room now that I had then, it is very nicely furnished and quite large.

I spent a very pleasant Sabbath yesterday, and if I were not so anxious to get home I should have been willing to have remained on the river longer.

I took up my journal book several times yesterday intending to write, but could not look off the beautiful scenery long enough to do so. We leave for New Orleans at one o’clock.

The Coquette is a very nice little boat, the fare is excellent and the waiters civil.

Amite La. Nov. 19th /59.

We left Mobile Monday afternoon at about two o’clock and arrived at New Orleans Tuesday morning the 8th, but as we were not in time to take the morning train up to Amite we were obliged to wait until night. After taking breakfast at the City Hotel, Uncle Moses hired a carriage and we drove round to Mrs. Martin’s, 333 Magazine St. Here Uncle Moses left me, and rejoined Uncle Dole. I found Mrs. Garrett and her family at Mrs. Martin’s, which was a surprise to me, for I did not know that they had removed to the City.

After spending an hour or two at Mrs. Martin’s I went to Mrs. Garrett’s and stayed there until after dinner, when I returned to Mrs. Martin’s. I left at six o’clock for the depot, Miss Calwell, Miss Lou and Julia Waters accompanied me to the depot, where I bade them goodbye and went into the cars with My Uncles; when the cars stopped at Henner I was surprised and delighted to meet Father, he had received the despatch which Uncle Moses sent from N. O. and had come down to meet us.

We arrived at Amite at about half past ten, and found them all sitting up except Georgie.

The next day (the 9th) Father and Mother went down to N. O. taking Eva and Lory with them. They stayed until Saturday (the 12th) when they returned only to get ready to go again for on Sunday they went up to Vicksburg, this time leaving the children at home.

Monday morning Uncles Moses and Dole left for Vicksburg, they have just returned this afternoon. We expected Father and Mother also, but Mother was not able to come, Father went down to Independence, five miles below here, where he is having some cars built, and Willie has taken the buggy down, to bring him back. He is going to take the children up with him tomorrow.

Monday Nov. 21st.

Father took Miss Mary, Eva, Lory and George up to Vicksburg yesterday. This morning Uncle Moses went up, and this afternoon at three o’clock Uncle Dole left for Georgia. Miss Clark, Willie and I are here alone.

Saturday, Nov. 25th Amite.

I expected that before this time we should all be up in Vicksburg, as it is, Willie and I are all that are left here. Father and Mother and the children are up in V. Miss Clark is down to the city on a visit, and Willie and I, as I said before, are still here.

I am staying at Mrs. Ridgill’s, with Miss Valeria and have been here since Thursday, the day that Miss Clark went down, and have been expecting to receive a summons up to Vicksburg ever since Wednesday, but I have heard nothing from them as yet, and do not know how much longer I shall have to wait in expectancy. I hope to hear from them today.

Today is my birthday, I am fifteen. Two years ago today We were on the eve of moving from Georgia, and now I am expecting to move to Vicksburg in a few days.

Tuesday Dec. 1st / 59 — Vicksburg———.

At last I date my journal from our future home, it is very satisfactory to feel that, for a few years at least, we can call some place home. Saturday night Willie came to Mrs. Ridgill’s and spent a few hours, and when he returned, persuaded Angus to go with him. Sunday morning we were at breakfast when our carriage drove up to the door. Miss Valeria said, jestingly, “go and see if your Mother has come, Sarah” I smiled sadly, for I had grown weary of waiting and was quite homesick, but though I did not expect to see Mother, I went out to meet Willie.

I had hardly reached the door when Angus called out, “Your Mother is here”. I did regard his words, for Angus is so full of frolic and mischief that I thought him joking, but smiled and bade him and Willie goodmorning, he then repeated his words and thinking it might be true my heart bounded suddenly, as I turned from one to the other. “You are not in earnest, Angus?" “Has she come Willie” they both assured me that they were in earnest and after gathering up my things, we said goodbye to the family and drove home.

At eleven o’clock I left Amite. I had a long lonely ride up to Jackson, rendered sad by thoughts and recollections awakened by leaving Amite, and by some recent events; I cheered myself, however, by thinking of the pleasant meeting of Father and the children, and with this, and the unconsciousness which sleep occasionally afforded, I did not get very much tired.

At about six o’clock we arrived at Jackson where I met Father, the ride from Jackson to Vicksburg was quite pleasant. We arrived at the depot at half past eight o’clock and as there were no carriages waiting we were obliged to walk up to the house, which is about a mile distant from the depot.

The children were all in bed and asleep except Miss Mary, who was sitting up for us. I should have written yesterday, but I was busy all day, unpacking my trunks and mending some things for the children.

The furniture has not come yet, so that I cannot describe my room, but I hope to be able to do so soon.

Thursday Dec. 8th. Vicksburg.

Last Saturday morning the last detachment of the family came up, and we are now all here; but there is still some furniture, bedding, and a great many other things to come, which are expected by the freight train tonight, some furniture from New Orleans came yesterday, and we hope to have everything here and get settled next week.

For the last week we have had some of the coldest, if not the coldest weather that I have ever experienced. Tuesday night it commenced to sleet at about six o’clock in the evening, and continued until midnight, between which and morning, there was a heavy fall of snow. When we arose and looked out, the piazzas and roofs of houses and the streets and gardens were all white, while the icicles hung from all the window sills; after breakfast the sun came out, for the first time in several days, and shone brightly, but although it continued to shine all day, the snow and ice did not melt, and the night being moonlight The spectacle was beautiful; I stood at my window admiring it until I was forced by the cold to retire. It is now three o’clock, and the ice is not melted yet. I must run to dinner now.

Friday —— When I went to dinner yesterday I intended to come back after that important ceremony was over, and finish writing, but Miss Annie Horn, a young lady who dined with us, did not leave until it was nearly dark and so I postponed finishing until now.

The weather has moderated considerably since yesterday, the snow and ice has nearly all melted, this is the only snow I ever saw, which did not melt as soon as the noon came, it is quite a strange sight to me.

We were disappointed about our furniture from Amite, it did not come last night. Wednesday morning Father received a despatch from Uncle David saying that Uncle Dole was sick, unable to attend to his business, and that Uncle Moses had better come on, immediately Father sent the despatch to Uncle Moses, who is over the river, and telegraphed back to know if he is dangerously ill, we expect an answer this evening; I hope, and beg to believe, that there is no danger — sometimes I almost turn sick with fear.

Monday, Dec. 12th —

Uncle Moses came over from the Swamp Friday night, he had received the despatch, and was very anxious about Uncle Dole; he was very anxious to see Father, but could not, as he had left early Friday morning on the pay train.

He remained with us until Saturday afternoon. As we were sitting at dinner Saturday, the wished despatch arrived, it read as follows, “Dole has typhoid fever, I do not think him dangerously ill”. Uncle Moses, though less anxious was still impatient to see his brother, and left at three o’clock, he expects to be in Georgia by the 14th of this month. Father came home Saturday night, he had met Uncle M. at Jackson.

Our freight from Amite has not yet arrived — .

Sunday we, that is Father, Mother, Mrs. Horn, Miss Annie and I, went to the Episcopal Church —

Here I have been interrupted by the arrival of some of our freight. I am so very glad to have it come that I can write no more at present.

Saturday Dec. 17th /59. ——

The week is now nearly closed and in the quiet of the evening hour I sit down to give an account of the week.

Willie has been sick in bed ever since Monday, yesterday and today he has been better, he dressed this morning but was not able to sit up long, he is so very weak. Thursday night George was taken very ill with the croup, he is much better today, but is not quite recovered yet. We rec’d a telegraph from Uncle Moses Wednesday saying that Uncle Dole was better. I believe that is all of the sick list. I could not commence to unpack the books until Wednesday, as our screw driver did not come, after all my waiting I had to borrow one; for ours came the last load.

Wednesday I unpacked all the boxes (9) and arranged the books, It was dark when I finished. Thursday, Uncle Jim and Emmeline put up my wardrobe, or Armor, as they call them here, and I arranged my clothes in my bureau, and wardrobe, and my ‘papers’ in my desk, after hurrying myself somewhat and working after dinner I finished this to my satisfaction, just before dark. Friday I spent in putting my work boxes, sewing trunk and scrap bag in order, sewing on buttons, minding the baby and attending to Willie. My room is now all in order, Father having screwed my glass on the bureau this evening.

I will now proceed to describe my room, it has three front windows opening on a balcony and facing the south, opposite the most westerly window is a door leading into the hall, and opposite the most easterly is another door opening the room which Grandma is to occupy when she comes. Our bed is placed in front of the middle window so that it divides the room into too portions one of which I call the western continent and the other the eastern; at the eastern end of the room there is a nice large grate, on the northern side of this fireplace is my book closet, about a foot wide and seven feet high, but which affords me an emmence deal of comfort for its size.

At the southern side is my dear bureau, my especial pet which I am very glad to have in my own room once more. In the western continent there is a wardrobe and a washstand. On each side of the bed there is a piece of carpet and a chair, one for Miss Mary, one for me, and beside each chair comfortably reposes a pair of dressing slippers.

I have longer than I meant to and the dark has overtaken before I have finished, I must close now, after adding two things. Father went over the river Wednesday and came back yesterday. I wrote to Uncle Moses today.

Vicksburg, Dec. 26th /59. —

Yesterday, Christmas day, it was fair and very pleasant weather. This is the first real Christmas that we have had for a long time, Christmas Eve, for the first time in three years I hang up my stocking by the side of the Chimney and dreamed of Christmas gifts all night, at four o’clock Miss Mary and I woke up and hearing the cock crow we thought it was morning so we woke up Rose after considerable calling; and, as there were no matches in our room she went into Miss Clark’s for some, the first time she only brought one and as that did not light she went for a second supply, this time Miss Clark looked at her watch and sent word that it was not morning, but we concluded that at any rate we would get up.

Miss Mary first examined her presents, she found a very pretty little stove, the joint property of herself and Eva, one which they had seen in the store window and which they had admired very much; also a very pretty lamplighter stand, and a pair of little candlesticks.

I then lifted my paper, and what was my delight to find exposed to view a beautiful book in English binding, entitled ‘The Waverly gallery’. The outside was indeed beautiful, but when I opened and found it full of beautiful engravings my feelings as the story books say “may be imagined but cannot be described”. After inspecting the stove and the book to our satisfaction, Miss Mary and I returned to bed, but not to sleep, for though I would willingly have courted repose Miss Mary kept me awake by exclaiming constantly “Oh Sarah, let me get up”, I shall be sick if I lie here much longer”, “I am sure it is morning now” and sundry other observations too numerous to mention. At length the wished for morning came, Rose made our fire and Miss Mary jumped out of bed. I had not yet risen when Eva came up to show us a box of furniture Santa Claus had given her, and she and Miss Mary were still busy with their stove when Willie knocked. I let him in and he displayed to my admiring eyes his present, a fine gold watch, with a key and guard attached, all the other members of the family were well provided for, and when I went down to breakfast I found Lory and George exulting over an engine and a hobby horse; of course there were plenty of merry Christmases given and received, all the negroes in the house wished me Merry Christmas before I left my bed.

I have lingered so long over my description that the darkness is overtaking me. We had Mr. Horne’s family here to dinner and Mrs. Bason and Dr. Young. Mother’s table did credit to her housewifery and her market man, and the Champange and other wine was duly praised.

At sunset our guests dispersed, and the day ended as happily if not as merrily as it began.

Today has been a real rainy day. For some time we have heard nothing from Uncle Dole, this afternoon Miss Clark received a letter from Uncle Moses saying that he was very sick but he hoped not dangerously, it was dated the 18th / probably he is no worse or we should have had a telegraph ——

Wednesday Jany. 4th /1860.

I wished to close up my account of the old year before a new one came in, but was unable to do so, because of other engagements. There is little to record, however, save that we have had another week of cold weather, last Friday night the 30th we had quite a snow storm, it was a beautiful sight, which was presented to oureyes the next morning, every thing covered with snow, so pure and white and soft; New Year’s day was clear but cold, the snow has not melted yet.

Willie is now quite recovered from his illness. I received a letter from Uncle Moses last night, he says that Uncle Dole is recovering, but very slowly, that he thinks he will not be able to leave his bed in less than two weeks; he also says that Aunt Satira Uncle Pike and Charlie have arrived in Georgia, where there home is to be for the present.

Miss Mary and Eva commenced school at Mrs. Garland’s today. Monday I commenced my Latin again. My piano has not been set up yet, so that I do not practice.

Tuesday, Terry. — Jany. 24th/ —

Last Thursday Willie and I left Vicksburg to pay our long deferred visit to Capt. Terry and as I had not written any here for some time I brought my book with me.

We had Father in company with us to this place, he went down to New Orleans. When we reached Jackson we met Capt. Terry there, very much to our surprise; his sister was sick and he had gone to get some ice for her; we arrived at Terry at about seven o’clock and bidding Father goodbye we stepped into a buggy which was in waiting and drove rapidly out to the Captain’s house, which is about a mile distant from the depot.

We have spent a very pleasant week and are now ready to return in a few hours, today being the last which Mother allotted for our stay. Since we have been here the weather has been very fine. The last few evenings we have sat out upon the piazza as if it was summer.

Looking over my last journal I see that my piano had not then arrived, it came the next Saturday (7th) and was tuned the next week. I think that moving it so much has injured it somewhat.

I do not think that Uncle Moses has arrived yet, when we left Vicksburg they were expecting him daily. —

Wednesday. Vicksburg — 25th/ —

Willie and I arrived safely last night; Dr. and Mrs. Young were on the train with us.

Uncle Moses arrived here Monday morning (the 23rd) Uncle Dole was much better when he left. We found Father at home, he arrived Tuesday morning —

Thursday 26th/ —

Uncle Moses came here today. Mother and Miss Clark were out and I was the only one to see him, he stayed but a few moments and then returned to the swamp, he will be here again Saturday. I was very glad to see him.

A letter came from Aunt Satira this morning, she says that Uncle Dole continues improving. I hope we will soon hear that he is well.

I have spent the day alone, Father is gone out on the Southern road, and Mother and Miss Clark have been paying calls all day. Ella Reading a neighbor of ours came to see me this afternoon, she is the first one who has been to see me since we came here; but I do not want any acquaintances, I fear I am becoming a little morose. I have never had many young acquaintances and but very few have been friends.

Yesterday afternoon I accompanied Mother and Miss Clark to Mrs. Cook’s she is a teacher of music and paintings; I enjoyed looking at her pictures, but was wicked enough to feel badly because I might never hope to equal her in music; I feel like giving up practising sometimes, the task is apparently hopeless, for I do not progress at all, and the two hours which I devote to it might be spent more profitably.

Saturday night. Vicksburg. Feb’y 25th —

I looked back to see how long since I have written here, nearly a month; but then I have had very little to write, and as long as I do not forget the journal so much as not to record all important matters such as departures and arrivals, it does not matter; I did not recollect that any one had departed lately when I began, but I suppose I must file that as usual; Willie left us yesterday to pay a short visit to Amite, he will return Monday. He has not time to stay any longer for he commenced school at Mr. Burr’s about a week since. I am taking lessons in watercolors. I began about two weeks ago and in order to have more time, have left off half an hour of my practice and now practice only an hour and a half a day. I have triumphed over the sinful feeling I spoke of in my last entry, oh, that I could say the same of the many others that try me daily.

No more acquaintances as yet, I shall enter my first caller with a full description that will be a perquisite of mine taken as a salvo for their tardiness. —

New Orleans — Wednesday March 7th / —

Miss Clark, Uncle Moses and I came down here Monday, we left Vicksburg at 7 o’clock in the morning and arrived at Jackson at ten minutes of ten. Uncle Moses obtained a carriage and we rode out to the insane asylum which is some distance out of town, from here we went to the penitentiary and state-house. The state-house is not a fine building, but Miss Clark and I were both very much pleased with the Asylum, the building was large, neat and airy, and the physician who showed us round seemed very kind to his patients, two of the female lunatics have pianos and were very fond of playing on them.

After eating a very good dinner at the hotel, we went down to the depot and left on the cars at a quarter of two o’clock, we arrived here at twelve in the night. The City hotel was very much crowded and if we had not had a room engaged we should probably have been obliged to have slept in the parlor.

Yesterday morning I came to Mrs. Garrett’s where I now am, at about one o’clock. Miss Clark suffered very much all yesterday with headache, she spent the night here, but is out shopping this morning.

Father arrived here this morning, but I have not seen him, yet, he has been to Meridian and came here by the way of Mobile. I went to a Jewish wedding yesterday afternoon, it is the first time I have ever been in a synagogue, and for some time my emotions were very much excited when I looked round upon the symbols of this first worship of God.

The marriage ceremony was neither as long or as imposing as I expected, they said, however, that it was shortened because the bridal company did not arrive until after sunset. The groom was married with his hat on, with the exception of this and the drinking of wine, breaking the glass and Hebrew chanting the ceremony was much like that of some Christian denominations. The wine glass, after the bride and groom had drunk the wine, was placed in a waiter upon the floor, and the bridegroom very determinately crushed it with his foot.

Thursday night. March 15th. Vicksburg.

We came up Saturday night, and I have been, as usual, so busy that I have not before had time to record our arrival. I can now write no more.

Saturday March 31st.

This has been quite an eventful month, I have not kept my journal as regularly as perhaps I ought to have done, I will now square up the record.

It has been nearly two weeks since Uncle Dole and Grandma arrived here, Tuesday morning (the 21st) I was in Miss Clark’s room reciting my lessons, when Loring came up to tell me that Grandma and Uncle Dole were coming, highly excited, I scarcely believed him in earnest, and ran down stairs to get Mother’s confirmation of the story, she showed me a telegraphic despatch from Father, who had gone out on the road that morning and had met them at one of the stations.

They soon arrived, and received from us all a warm welcome, Uncle Dole was and is quite weak, but I think him improved from his journey.

On the following Monday, Miss Clark and my two Uncles went over the river, Miss Clark and Uncle Dole intending to go to Munroe, distant about eighty miles from the river, thirty of which were travelled by railroad the rest by horse-back riding.

Tuesday morning Father went out on the Southern railroad, taking with him Grandma, Miss Mary, Eva, and Lory. Mother and I were having a quiet time together when some one came in at the street door. Wondering who it could be, I looked out and saw Uncle Dole, at first I was alarmed, thinking that he was sick, but he said he was not, and when he was seated he told us that he thought himself unequal to such a long ride and leaving Miss Clark with Uncle Moses he returned.

Father and his party came back at night, Grandma liked the country very much, since she has been here we have rode all about town, she thinks it is rather too hilly here.

Uncle Moses and Miss Clark returned Thursday morning, they did not go to Munroe as the roads were too muddy, but turned back after going fifteen miles beyond the railroad.

I have a long story to tell, I may as well tell it now as later, for probably this book will not be read again until the last scene of the play is acted; but to commence at the beginning I must go back to my journey North, last summer.

I believe that in my journal for August I mentioned how particularly Uncle Dole noticed all the ladies, the further we proceeded on our journey and the more I became acquainted with my Uncle, the stronger became my conviction that he wanted to marry. But I will pass over my convictions, and relate only facts.

In my journal I have already mentioned my visit to Dover to see the print works, but so briefly that I did not speak of the lady and gentleman who so kindly accompanied us; they were Mr. and Mrs. Paul; after leaving the print-works Mrs. Paul went with us to the depot. On our way, while talking to Aunt Satira she described to her a young lady who was boarding at her house, and who taught a school in Dover; I did not hear their conversation, and when we arrived at the depot Aunt Satira told me of the young lady, adding a laughing remark that she might suit Uncle Dole; when he came up I repeated the remark to him, “indeed!” said he, “you must tell Mrs. Paul to send me her daguerreotype”.

Here the cars came up and bidding our friends goodbye we left Dover. I should have considered this all a jest and soon forgotten it, but not so Uncle Dole; he thought of it for some days, and then proposed that he and I should go back to Dover to see the young lady, whose name is Miss Lizzie Paice. But I declined, assuring him that Mrs. Paul would suspect his purpose if I went with him, and I recommended him to get Aunt Lydia to go; he did so, and they returned both very much pleased with her. Still, Uncle Dole would have left New Hampshire without seeing her again, for this was within a few days of our departure, had not a seeming accident thrown them together.

In my journal for this time, I only casually mentioned my Uncle’s visit to Portland. Uncle Moses went to this place to get some carpenters to work upon a mill which they then thought of building in Mississippi, he completed his negotiations as nearly as possible and then returned; in a day or two a letter came to him from the men he thought he had engaged refusing to come out here, it then became necessary for one of the brothers to go to Portland again, and Uncle Moses urged Uncle Dole to go, at length he consented a little unwillingly, and went.

On his way back, when the train stopped at Dover, he thought of Miss Lizzie, and looked out, a lady came in the cars who looked very much like her, he was doubtful whether to speak to her or not, rose once to go, sat down again, and again rose and went forward; it was Miss Lizzie, he stood and conversed with until she left the cars, which was at a junction a few miles from South Newmarket, she went on board another train which went to Portsmouth, her home. Now is not this romantic? what makes it more so is that Miss Lizzie was not in the habit of going home by this route but by another! who can doubt that a wise providence directs all events.

But I must not stop to moralize, the precious moments are flying fast, and I am not yet through my story.

If I had thought that at the first meeting of these two, Cupid had discharged his arrows at my Uncle’s heart, I was now sure that his aim had been true, and his shaft was firmly fixed.

But not yet had Uncle Dole consented to fall in love, he wished to see a lady in Hudson city, opposite New York, before he decided, the young lady had been highly recommended, may I use the expression?, by a friend of his, (Miss Clark), and we delayed our departure in order that he might go and see her, and then return to South Newmarket. He went, and returned, Miss Lizzie Pierce had taken too firm a hold upon his affections, for Miss Lizzie Green to be very prepossessing. During the week that followed, he paid three visits to Portsmouth; for Miss Lizzie’s school was suspended for a time on account of a fair which was then held in Dover. When she returned to D. Aunt Lydia and Uncle Dole paid a second visit to Mrs. Paul (?) and Uncle Dole came back an engaged man.

This was Saturday night, Monday morning we left for Georgia, and here for the present my story ends, for I shall record only facts, not feelings, let my Uncle’s confidence in me be sacred. In a few months, as soon as Uncle Dole can go North without danger, he will claim Miss Lizzie Pierce as his bride, and bring to me, not only an Aunt but a companion, for there is but five years difference in our ages, she being little more than twenty.

The family of which Miss Lizzie is a member consists of a Mother and Father and seven children, all grown except one daughter who is about sixteen years old I believe. Two of the sons are out here, one has been working for Uncle Moses for some time, the other arrived here today.

In a letter from Aunt Lydia received about a month ago, she says, “I have become considerably acquainted with Lizzie, and like her much, she is amiable and has good sense. She was sorry she could not have seen you when you were here. I think you will love her. She is a sweet singer, and finally she is an accomplished girl”. I am almost sure I shall love her, her sweet name attracts me, and there is something in a name.

Wednesday April 4th / 1860.

Uncle left us for Georgia, day before yesterday (2), Miss Clark accompanied him to Canton, she returned last night. The Mr. Price who arrived here the 31st March, breakfasted with us yesterday, he is quite tall, taller than Father, stoops a little in the shoulders, with a large frame, black whiskers, edged with red, dark hair, an eye of light greyish blue, and a nose inclined to turn up. His family, consisting of a wife and two children, one four the other two years old, are at Gardener on the Kennebec. He left here yesterday afternoon on his way North, and is to return and take a contract on the Vicksburg and Shreveport railroad in about a month.

Today has been very warm.

Friday April 6th / 1860 —

One more member has been added to our family, a little baby boy was born this morning, he looks very much as Georgie did the first time I saw him, Mother is doing very well.

The warm weather continues.

Friday, April 13th.

Our baby is one week old today, he is still doing well and has grown a good deal since his birth, his name is John Everingham, he is named for Mother’s Father. Mother’s getting on very well.

Emmeline had a baby last night, it is a boy. Miss Clark and Uncle Moses went out to Morton this morning, they expect to return tomorrow night.

Monday April 16th.

Mother and the baby still do very well, I am housekeeper now, and have much to occupy me.

Saturday April 21st.

We all continue as well as usual. Mother begins to sit up a little. Father has gone away to New Orleans and will be back Tuesday. Miss Clark is going to Munroe with Uncle Moses Monday; they will be gone nearly two weeks. I received a letter from Aunt Lydia a few days ago, she has been to Dover to see Miss Lizzie, and likes her more than ever, Oh how impatient I am to see her!

Thursday, May 3rd / 60.

Miss Clark and Uncle Moses left us for Munroe Wednesday last, they returned today, having spent a week in journeying there, and back again.

I went out to a picnic yesterday, took Miss Mary, Eva, and Lory, the day was very tedious and I was heartily glad to get back home.

Uncle Moses received a letter from Uncle Dole today, he says that Miss Lizzie has given up her school.

Mother is not very well today she has taken cold and has had a bad headache all day, she has not been out of her room yet; the baby is doing finely.

The weather has become warm again and I am very glad of it.

Saturday May 6th —

Grandma, Willie and Miss Clark went down to Terry yesterday morning, we expect them back tonight. Ma went out to dinner yesterday and will go out again today. The small pox is in Savannah, the cases of it are quite numerous.

Friday May 11th —

Grandma, Willie and I have just returned from the swamp, we went over Wednesday, and spent our time very pleasantly until this morning at seven o’clock when we left for Mississippi again.

Father, Mr. Horne, General and Dr. Myrick and Mr. Compton (the three last from Georgia) went out yesterday, we saw them this morning.

Grandma, Uncle Moses and Miss Clark expect to leave next Monday, I am prepared to have them defer their departure however, for Miss C. and Uncle Moses intended to leave a week ago.

Mother has gone to spend the day with Mrs. Horne she has taken the baby with her. Emmeline has come into the house again.

Monday, May 14th —

They all left today, I have just returned from the boat, whither I went to bid them goodbye, they went on the Vicksburg, it is considered a fine boat and I dare say they will have a pleasant passage down the river; Miss Clark has been expecting to go so long that it seems a relief to have her off; although we shall at first feel a little lonely I think it best for our family to be alone for awhile.

Willie will leave us soon to go out in the world, and act for himself, he is only nineteen but he is a man in stature and appearance, he has for a year been wishing to go to work, and last week Father concluded that he had best not go to planting yet as he was so young, and moreover Father is not able to give him a plantation, so it is settled that he is to contract for grading, on the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas railroad.

Pierce Horne and Dr. Myrick are to form a partnership with him, to buy the mules and carts necesary for the work, and then they will set out separately.

They will commence in October, in the meantime Willie will be occupied in getting his things ready, and he expects also to go to Georgia.

This seems an eventful Spring, I look forward and everything is wrapped in uncertainty, I expect we shall move somewhere near Willie. Father says he cannot afford to live in a town at present, but I will not anticipate.

It is well for us that we cannot lift the veil that shrouds the future; Willie will commence now where Father was twenty years ago. God grant that when he is thirty nine he may be as far advanced, in honour and in prosperity as is my loved and respected parent.

Miss Lizzie Pierce’s brother, (the one who has been with Uncle Moses all winter) was here this morning he resembles his elder brother somewhat, but is better looking and not so tall.

Wednesday, May 16th.

Emmeline has been packing away the winter clothing this morning, and Mother has been cleaning up closets, in about two weeks we shall get settled for the summer.

Father went out on the Southern road this morning, he will be back tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 22nd —

I commenced my lessons yesterday, for the present I shall only study Arithmetic and Latin.

Father went down to New Orleans Sunday evening, he will be absent a week. The weather is quite warm and more settled than it has been before.

Father received a letter from Uncle Moses on Saturday, they were then at New Orleans but intended leaving for Mobile the next day. I suppose they are now in Georgia, Aunt Mary writes that she is expecting Miss Clark to spend a week with her.

Tuesday, May 29th —

I have been busy studying and practising ever since I commenced my Lessons. I like my teacher in Arithmetic and Latin very much and think him an excellent teacher, his name is Burr, he is the gentleman who taught Willie, I recite three times a week. I took my second music lesson this morning, my music teacher, Mr. Eaton, also understands his profession, but I am not pleased with him in other respects.

Willie went down to Amite on Monday, Miss Valeria Ridgill is coming back with him. He intended to remain until Saturday but I wrote him today to return, and expect that he will be back Friday.

General Robison, from Georgia, is coming here tomorrow evening, his servant and baggage arrived here this morning, but he met Father on the road and went to Morton with him.

June 3rd — Sunday —

Went to Church this morning and heard an excellent sermon upon religion and its offices.

I received a letter from Uncle Dole dated the 23rd, the travellers had arrived. Uncle Dole writes that Miss Lizzie is taking music lessons in Portland.

Willie arrived Thursday night, but Miss Valeria did not come.he will go down again for her.

Mr. Horne and family left for Georgia on Thursday, May 31st.

Tuesday, June 19th —

Father came up from Independence a week ago today and brought Miss Valeria up with him. Since then we have been busily employed in riding out to see the beauties of Vicksburg, altogether we have had quite a gay week. Mr. Raoul, from Independence, Mr. Greene, Father’s assistant on the Southern road and Mr. Horne have all been here, and Mr. Greene will return tonight.

Mr. Eaton, my music teacher, has just finished giving me a lesson, I am afraid that he and Mr. Burr think I improve rather slowly just now.

Miss Clark was in New York on the 14th we shall soon receive a letter from Worcester. Mr. Burr asked me a few days since when she was to be married, I told him that I had no idea when; every body here seems to consider the matter as settled.

I am looking to a general settling of things this summer, every day I watch eagerly for letters expecting to hear of one more chapter in the two romances which are in progress.

Mr. Pierce (the elder) was here yesterday his younger brother, whose name is Elbridge, is sick with the swamp fever, but is getting well now. Mother invited him to come over here and spend a few days, until he became perfectly well.

Miss Valeria, Willie, Miss Mary, Eva and I went to the Catholic Church Sunday evening to hear vespers, but the singing was not at all fine.

Friday June 22nd.

Father has gone, he left us yesterday and will be gone until the tenth of next month, he has left the road in charge of Mr. Greene, who will be in Vicksburg about once a week during Father’s absence and will probably stop here. Mr. Elbridge Pierce has accepted Mother’s invitation and came in today, he is looking very badly indeed, and seems quite melancholy.

Captain Terry, his wife and daughter Carrie came here day before yesterday and left yesterday afternoon, their daughter Jane has arrived at home to spend her vacation of two months, their son Joseph, or Tump as they call him, will be home in a week or two.

Saturday 23rd —

Miss Valeria left us this morning we were reluctant to let her go, but she was getting anxious to see her family and thought that she could not remain any longer; she had been here nearly two weeks but it did not seem so long to me, the time has passed so pleasantly.

Dr. Balfour came to see Mr. Pierce this morning, he said that he could not be too careful of himself, as the swamp doctors had treated his case imprudently.

Friday 29th —

Just a week today since Mr. Pierce came; and eight days since Father left us, Oh what a long, long week it has been to me, it seems as if the two weeks which must pass before Father returns, are too long to look forward to. Mr. Pierce has improved very much and is still improving, he is still rather weak, however; he is much more talkative than when he came, and speaks a great deal of his family, especially his sister Lizzie, he seems to be very fond of his family.

Mother received a letter from Miss Clark dated the 16th. Miss Clark and Uncle Moses had arrived, at Worcester, the day before, and Uncle Moses had left that morning for South Newmarket.

Saturday July 7th / 60 —

I took the last lesson that I am to have in latin this summer, yesterday; my vacation had now commenced and I shall have no school duties, except practising, for two months, during this time I hope to read more than I have for some time past.

My dear Father has been sick since he left us, he had chills and fever in Philadelphia, but was only delayed by it three days at the end of which time he went on to New Hampshire.

Mr. Elbridge Pierce has been over in the swamp a week, on Monday he brought over his elder brother who has also been sick with the swamp fever. He (Mr. George Pierce) has been here ever since, his brother returned today and they will probably both leave us tomorrow evening.

Uncle Dole will leave Georgia for New Hampshire on the 15th of this month, we shall soon hear of his bridal. We have not heard from Miss Clark since the letter I mentioned in my last.

Our weather is now oppressively warm, and the musquetoes are a very great annoyance.

Monday, July 9th —

Another letter from my dear Father this morning, and also one from Uncle Dole, both full of interest to us. My dear Aunt Lydia is very sick, her disease is a cancer in the mouth. and complete prostration of the nervous system. Father’s letter was dated the 1st he said that Aunt Lydia had been dangerously ill but was then out of danger and slowly improving. My poor Aunt, she is of a warm, affectionate disposition and the removal of her sister from New Hampshire was too much for her. I fear it will be long ere she regains even that partial health which it has always been her portion to bear.

But I must also speak of other items in Father’s letter, he said that he found Cousin Abbie Colcord, Uncle Moses and, Miss Clark at Aunt Lydia’s and that he was never more surprised than when he met Miss C. at the door, no wonder, peculiar as she is I should never have expected that step from her. Uncle Moses had telegraphed for Aunt Satira and Grandma and they left Savannah on the 30th so we learned from Uncle Dole’s letter; they are no doubt with her long before this.

Father said that if Aunt Lydia continued to improve he would leave New Hampshire on Tuesday, nearly a week ago. Uncle Dole said that Aunt Mary and her children had gone North befor Miss Clark reached Georgia. Uncle Dole also inquired about Mr. Elbridge Pierce, his sister had heard rumours of his sickness, and was anxious about him. Uncle D. intended to leave Georgia for New Hampshire on the 7th.

Monday July 16th —

Father has arrived, he came Saturday night, and he brought me such a beautiful present it is an elegant paint box fitted with every convenience, it contains eighteen Crayons and is made of rose wood, it is about a foot long and nearly as wide. Every one of us children had a pretty, appropriate present. Mother’s was a grenadine dress, a workbag, and a portmonnae.

Father and Mother have concluded that we had better not spend the summer here; we are to go to Cohuttah Springs, Murray County Georgia, until cold weather. The fever is said to be in New Orleans and if it is it will probably come here. Cohuttah Springs is not a fashionable place but is very cool and healthy, being at the foot of one of the mountains of the Alleghany range, in the North western part of Georgia. We shall go as soon as possible, probably in about ten days.

Mr. Elbridge Pismo is sick again, he came over last week, Dr. Balfour says that he must go north immediately, but he does not wish to go until his brother closes up their business at the Macon, which will probably be in about a week, so that he will go on with us.

Wednesday July 25th

We leave for Cohutta on Monday.

Cohutta Saturday August 4th —

We arrived here on Thursday, and after a rather adventurous trip were glad to arrive where we could rest from the fatigue of travelling.

Father came with us to Canton Mississippi, where he left us and returned to Vicksburg, we came on with Mr. Horne and Willie for escorts, but Willie afforded us very little assistance. When we left Vicksburg he complained of a very bad headache and had a little fever, but Mother thought that it would pass away in a few hours and as she had all her things ready she did not wish to postpone leaving, but his headache did not get any better. We spent Monday night in the sleeping car upon the Mississippi Central railroad, stopped three hours at the grand Junction where we took breakfast, and then went an to Chattanooga, towards dark Willie’s fever increased and he complained of a very bad pain in his side. When we stopped for supper he said that he could not go any further than Chattanooga, we arrived there at one o’clock and took rooms in the Hotel, Mr. Horne went on.

Wednesday morning Mother gave Willie a purgative but he did not get much better, the Hotel at Chattanooga is very badly kept and we were all very uncomfortable. Mother sent for the proprietor in order to try and learn something about the stages between Dalton and Cohuttah. While she was in the parlor waiting for him, a little girl came in, seeing that she was alone Mother asked her if she lived at the Hotel she said that she lived in Georgia. Mother then asked in what part of Georgia, she answered Dalton; this interested Mother, and thinking that she might ascertain something about the stages from this source, she asked her a few more questions and found that she was travelling with her Uncle. The little girl said that she would ask her Uncle to come in and see Mother, and that he could tell her all about the stages; he soon came in, he is a young man about twenty eight or thirty years old, has a very honest face and polite manners, his name is John Owen, and he lives in Winchester Tennessee. Now I have always entertained a prejudice against Tennesseans, I have always thought them coarse and rough, but hereafter I shall have a better opinion of them.

Mr. Owen was very kind, he gave Mother all the information that she wished, and even offered to take charge of her family and baggage as far as Dalton, Mother thanked him, but said she hoped that Willie might be well enough to take care of us, but in the afternoon Willie was hardly able to go on the cars, much less to take any care of the baggage, so we were obliged to accept Mr. Owen’s very kind offer and trouble him with the care of our large family. We arrived at Dalton about five o’clock after a very pleasant ride of thirty eight miles, on the road we saw three vineyards the first I had ever seen. The country which we passed through was quite pretty.

When we arrived at Dalton Willie seemed very much better, and after a nights sleep and a good breakfast at the “Chester House” we took leave of Mr. Owen with many thanks for his kindness and set out with light hearts for the Springs, eighteen miles distant.

We had two hacks and a baggage waggon, for the first hour or two we were quite happy in the thoughts that we were near our journey’s end and that we were once more in Georgia, but after that we were very quiet.

The road until within about five miles of the Springs was tolerably level, and smooth, but after that we began to got into the mountains and had a number of jolts. We left Dalton at half past six in the morning, and arrived here at half past twelve.

The house here is situated at the foot, not of one mountain, but of several, it is quite a romantic situation being surrounded by mountains on all sides, with only an opening for a road in front, and a little stream running over the rocks about a hundred or fifty yards distant.

The principal spring is situated nearly at the foot of the mountain at one side of the house, but there are others scattered around, there is a very pretty path leading to a freeStone spring, which is nearly half way up the side of the same mountain. When we arrived here Thursday (the 2nd) Willie was almost well, but he ate a hearty dinner and afterwards attempted to walk up the mountain, after this he was of course sick again, he had a very high fever and a bad headache. Yesterday Mother gave him some pills and he threw a quantity of bile off his stomach, he is now much better but is weak, he has no fever.

There are four families here, two are in the hotel and the others are spending the summer in some cabins a few yards off. Miss Julia Rucker a very pleasant young lady is also spending the summer here. The Miss Underwoods are also very pleasant, they are in one of the cabins with their family. There is also another young lady a Miss Morriss, (one of the occupants of the other cabin) whom I have not yet seen.

The accomodations here are not so rough as we expected, we have a very good table and are to have some comfortable rooms as soon as they can be arranged.

Yesterday afternoon a party of us went up on the mountain, there were four young ladies, three gentlemen and a number of younger girls. We had a very pleasant walk up and had beautiful views from several points; a lovely little valley covered with green grass and corn lay at our feet while the thickly wooded hills and beyond them the lofty mountains rising above each other till the most distant formed a blue line against the sky, formed a beautiful frame for the smiling picture below us.

Sunday, Aug. 5th —

The day is now nearly closed, and I sit down to review my conduct on this, the first Sabbath that I have ever spent at Cohuttah. I began the day rather badly, by being late at breakfast, the Hotel was so much more quiet than usual, that after I was waked up by the chambermaid bringing in water, I went to sleep again and did not wake until quite late. And after breakfast I took Georgie and went down to the Spring thinking that I would find a cool and retired place to sit and think, what was my surprise when I saw the benches filled with ladies, gentlemen, and children, it was a pretty scene, the ladies in their pink and white dresses with picturesque hats, and gentlemen in summer costume sitting in groups upon the hillside, while the children played around making garlands of the leaves, but as I was in search of quiet, I was not particularly pleased to see them. However I went up and took a seat by the side of Miss Julia Rucker, Miss Helen Underwood, and a young man named Hamilton. Miss Julia was not inclined to converse, and Miss Helen was carrying on a light conversation with Mr. H. so as I could not enjoy silence and could not, become interested in allusions to flirtations of which I knew nothing, I was in an unpleasant position. How often, when situated thus, have I regretted, so foolishly, that I had not been educated to speak words without meaning and to practice gracefully all those coquettish airs which form such an important part of conversation between ladies and gentlemen, but in calmer hours, when reason, unfettered by embarrassment is allowed to assert her sway, I feel glad, though I must often keep silence in gay companies, my secluded habits have rendered me capable of enjoying solitude, and have protected me from the dangers which lovers of society too often encounter.

Thinking that I might spend the Sabbath more profitably I returned to the house but had such a headache that I was obliged to lie down. After resting about an hour I was aroused from my reverie by Miss Helen who came to bring me a rock which she had found. I went out into the hall and talked with her sister, Miss Lou until they went home, when I returned to my room and read the morning service until summoned to dinner; since then I have been employed in attending to Willie and George.

And now let me close my journal of the day by transcribing this beautiful and appropriate hymn.

Softly now the light of day
Fades upon my sight away;
Free from care, from labour free,
Lord, I would commune with thee.

Thou, whose all — pervading eye
Naught escapes, without, within,
Pardon each infirmity,
Open fault and secret sin.

Soon for me the light of day
Shall forever pass away;
Then, from sin and sorrow free,
Take me, Lord, to dwell with thee.

Thou who, sinless, yet hast known
All of man’s infirmity;
Then, from thine eternal throne,
Jesus, look with pitying eye.

Thursday — Aug. 9th —

Tuesday night there was a party here, quite a number of young ladies and gentlemen came from the little village of Spring place; they did not leave until this morning; I did not go down to the ball room, but yesterday I went into the parlour and talked a little with some of the young ladies, looked over some games at cards, and spent a pleasant day.

I am learning to play chess, Miss Helen Underwood is teaching me. I forgot to mention in my Saturday’s journal that Mr. Elbridge Pierce was too ill to come with us, both he and his brother were sick when we left, we have not heard from them since. Referring to them makes me sad, it makes me think of my dear Aunt, so often when I feel a little gay and am talking with some a thought of her will come over me, and I am sad, oh! how dreadful to feel that one has been taken from a hitherto unbroken circle of bro thers and sisters, now they can never gather together without thinking sadly of the one link that has been severed from the golden chain, my lovely Aunt! When others may be called away from us, may they join thee in Heaven.

Willie is now much better, he went down to breakfast this morning. I am not well myself but I hope it is merely fatigue from my journey, and will soon pass away.

Friday. Aug. 10th —

I have written two letters today, and practised a little, the first I have practised since we came here. Miss Helen Underwood lent a music book of hers the other day, and as I was looking over it this morning I found a beautiful song, it is entitled the Erl king which signifies in English, death. The idea of the son pleading with the Father to save him is very touching, I will copy it below.

The Erl king.


Who rideth so late through the night-wind wild?
It is the father with his child;
He has the little one well in his arm,
He holds him safe, and he folds him warm.


My son, why hidest thy face so shy?
Seest thou not Father the Erl king nigh?
The Erl king with train and crown?
It is a wreath of mist, my son.


Erl K. Come lovely boy; come go with me;
Such marry plays I will play with thee.
Many a flower grows on the strand,
And my Mother has many a gay garment at hand.


boy. My Father, my father and dost thou not hear
What the Erl-king whispers in my ear?
Be quiet my darling, be quiet my child;
Through withered leaves the wind howls wild.


E.K. Come lovely boy, wilt thou go with me?
My daughters fair shall wait on thee,
My daughters their nightly revels keep,
They’ll sing and they’ll dance, and they’ll rock thee to sleep.


boy. My Father, my Father, and seest thou not
The Erl-king’s daughters in yon dim spot?
My son, my son, I see and I know
’Tis the old gray willow that shimmers so.


E.K. I love thee, thy beauty has ravished my sense;
And willing or not I will carry thee hence.
boy. Oh Father the Erl-king now puts forth his arm
Oh Father the Erl-king has done me harm.


The father shudders, he hurries on;
And faster he holds his moaning son;
He reaches his home with fear and dread,
And lo! in his arms the child was dead.

Tuesday, Aug. 14th —

I spent today in writing letters to send by Willie tomorrow; for Willie is to leave us tomorrow, he is now perfectly recovered and he cannot be content to stay here any longer. I am very sorry that he must leave us but he goes for his own pleasure, therefore it is not so hard to bid him goodbye.

We are now having very cold weather for August, it rained all day Sunday, and yesterday morning it cleared off quite cold, after breakfast we were all so chilled that I proposed a game of blind man’s buff to warm us. We all went down into the ballrooms, called Willie and Mr. Woodburn (a young student who is spending his vacation here) and had a good play, pretty soon Miss Helen and Miss Lou Underwood came in and joined us, after exercising for an hour or two we went up into the parlour and played more quiet games. Miss Helen and Mr. Bell played cards, Miss Lou and I chess, and Willie and Florence Illges draughts, the rest looked on at the games so that we had three little circles in the room. After Miss Lou and Miss Helen left; Mr. McJunkin and I played chess until we were called to dinner; Mr. McJunkin is private secretary to Mr. Alex. Stephens; he is a very pleasant gentleman.

In the afternoon we took a long walk, we went to the post office, a mile and a quarter from here; on the way back the sun was setting behind us, the air was cool and pleasant and overhead the sky was that greyish blue which distinguishes it in warm winter days.

I was forcibly reminded of those lines of Bryant’s

And now when comes the clear cold day,
As still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee
From out their winter home,
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard
Though all the trees are still
And twinkle in the smoky light
The waters of the rill, —

for although this is August it seems very such like Autumn to me, even the wind as it blows through the trees reminds me of Autumn.

Today, as I said before, I have passed in writing letters, I have also sewed a little, but have not walked even to the spring.

But I must now close, I fell down yesterday while playing and feel quite stiff today, writing so much has made my arm Lame.

Thursday — August 16th/ —

Willie left us yesterday morning very early; we miss him so much, it seems as if he had been gone a week instead of a day.

We moved downstairs yesterday, and find our new rooms very comfortable now, though I am afraid they will prove a little too open in really cold weather. They are not ceiled at all, and have only a thin partition between them, which does not reach all the way up, so that a conversation can be carried on with ease by persons in different rooms. This makes no difference with us, on the contrary it is rath [illegible] convenient, but it would be unpleasant if any one else occupied one of the rooms.

I must now close, as the first bell has rung for dinner.

Saturday. Aug. 18th —

I have so much news to write that I scarcely know where to begin; in the first place we received a mail from the Cohuttah post office this morning, and as all my news is contained in these letters, this is the most important item. We had three letters, one from Pa, one from Aunt Satira, and the other for me from Miss Ginnie Calwell. Pa says that Mr. and Mrs. Rigby (from Vicksburg) are coming to Cohuttah Springs, but if they come, I do not think they will stay, Cohuttah is too quiet a place for Mrs. Rigby.

Miss Ginnie writes that Mrs. Garrett’s house has been burned, and every thing lost, I am very sorry. Miss Ginnie also says that it is so very warm in Amite they cannot sleep, but have often sat up all night on the piazza.

And last and greatest of all, Uncle Moses is at length married, Aunt Satira writes that they had been married a week when she wrote; alas! my new Aunt cannot fill the place of the one I have lost. But this is not a fit marriage welcome. What can I say, except that I wish them a long and happy married life, this is the best wish the best welcome. I trust that my hopes and theirs may be consummated.

The weather is now quite warm, this is the first oppressive day we have had for a week.

Monday, Aug. 20th —

It is three weeks today since we left home, but it seems a much longer time to me. I have spent it quite pleasantly however.

Mr. McJunkin is going to leave us on Wednesday, we shall all miss him very much for he is the only pleasant young gentleman here. Mr. Woodburn is not at all agreeable.

I rode out this morning with a very pleasant old gentleman, Mr. Ross, he and his wife are here spending the summer, or a part of it, at the springs, they came for the health of Mrs. Ross who is an invalid. Mr. Ross brought his horse and buggy with him, and has take all the young ladies out to ride, today he said that it was my turn.

We had a very pleasant drive of about two miles, and stopped nearly an hour at the house of Mr. McKamy, where we had some delicious fruit; while we were there Mr. Lough Miller came driving up with his hack full of ladies whom he had brought out for a ride, they were Mother, Mrs. Hammond, Mrs. Lough Miller, and Mrs. Field.

Mother promised this morning to send Mrs. Ross a recipe, I put it down here so that it shall not be forgotten.

Wednesday, Aug. 22nd / —

I feel quite lonely this morning, five of our company have left us. Mr. McJunkin is gone I felt very sorry to part with him, he said that he would come out west in the winter and that he might meet us again, poor young man, I am afraid he will never live to reach the west, his health is very poor; I hope that we may see him again, however.

Mr. and Mrs. Ross left us this morning, they do not expect to return, but there is a possibility that they may, I wish they would, they are so genial and agreeable that we shall miss them very much indeed. The other two departures were those of Mrs. Loughmiller and her sister Miss Vernon who has been spending a few days here. Mrs. Loughmiller will return again in a few days.

Mrs. Hammond went away yesterday evening, she has gone to see her sister and will come back on Monday.

And now that there are so many departures I must record one arrival, which I had forgotten before, a family came here on Saturday, they have rented one of the cabins and expect to spend the summer here, I believe. There is a young lady in the family, Miss Julia, and I intend to call upon her today. We should have done it before, but did not have time while Mr. McJunkin was here, as we had to write some letters to send by him.

I received a letter from Willie Monday afternoon, he had arrived safely at General Robison’s and was enjoying himself very much indeed, he said that Uncle Davie had gone North. Mother and I also received a letter each from Father; he was well, and was about to set out upon a trip to Shreveport.

Thursday, Aug. 23rd —

Mr. and Mrs. Horne were here yesterday to spend the day; they went to Dalton the morning we left, and arrived after we had been gone about half an hour. Mr. Horne is going to start for New York tomorrow, and will take Miss Annie with him.

I went down to see Miss Cobb this morning, she is quite pleasant though not so much so as her sister Mrs. Wilkes; Mrs. W. is in very delicate health but has improved a great deal since she came here.

Mrs. Field left us this morning, she does not think that she will return any more. A family came to the Hotel last night, I have not become acquainted with them yet. Miss Julia Rucker has been rather unwell for the last two days, she has not been in bed, but is in very low spirits, she seems to have something upon her mind. I must go up stairs now and see if I can cheer her up a little.

Friday, Aug. 31st / —

Miss Helen and Miss Lou Underwood have been spending this week at Dalton, they are expected back today. I shall be very glad to see them for Miss Julia and I have missed them very much this week.

We had a delightful walk yesterday afternoon, indeed a more proper name for it would be a scramble, for it was more of a scramble than a walk. Mr. Loughmiller was our guide, he undertook to show us some falls which he said were on the side of the mountain, going past the mineral springs we stopped there to drink some water, and to get all our party together. As we started, Mr. Bell went behind with Miss Julia and I called Mr. Wurley to come on with Miss Lizzie Cobb and I, thus Mr. Woodburn was left without a companion and he fell back in the rear. I am afraid I hurt his feelings but he is such a disagreeable companion that I could not bear to have him along with me; this morning he left the breakfast table very soon and as he was going out Mother called to him and said “Mr. Woodburn, the water seems to lessen rather than increase your appetite”, he never made any reply but walked on straight out of the room, he is really the most singular man I ever saw. I avoid him as much as I can without being positively rude. But how have I digressed from my description of our walk.

We went on up to the freestone spring and a little beyond, when Mr. Loughmiller said “Yonder is the place where the falls were, but the branch is now dried up” this was quite a dissappiontment to us, and we were just about sitting down to rest a little, when Mr. Loughmiller said, “no resting till you get to the top”. And on we went catching to bushes and trees and every now and then slipping on some rolling rock, and recovering our equilibrium amid shouts of laughter from the rest of the party, at length we reached some nice flat stones which seemed placed expressly for us to rest upon; and throwing myself down on one of them, I said that I would not go any further untill I had cooled and rested a little. Miss Julia and Miss Lizzie were very willing to rest and as Messrs. Wurley and Bell were with us, we were willing to let Mr. Loughmiller and his party go on a little in advance. We did not stop very long however and reached the summit soon after Mr. L. did, Oh! what a beautiful prospect we had, on one side some small mountains densely wooded lay just before us, while above them and us rose Cohuttah and Fort mountains, eight or ten miles distant but seeming very near.

On the other side that charming little valley which I spoke of before lay surrounded by ranges of mountains and dotted with little hills and clumps of trees. Mr. Bell and Mr. Wurley tried which could throw stones the farthest, and we watched them until the glories of the setting sun admonished us to return; taking a more curcuitous but more gradual path we went on pleasantly, often stopping to admire the georgeous clouds that surroun ded the departing day God, and cast a haze of purple light on the distant mountain tops.

I gathered a boquet of beautiful wildflowers and some very pretty red leaves which I have on the table beside me now. After coming about half way down, we emerged upon an open space where we could distinctly see the hotel and the people upon the piazza and in the road, we waved our handkerchiefs and Mr. Bell shouted “three cheers for Douglass”, I replied “three more for Breckenridge” and then what shouts were heard, Breckenridge and Douglass were the names which were heard in the confusion. Our shouts drew the attention of the people below, and they waved their handkerchiefs in return. We were not willing to pursue our curcuitous route any longer, but catching by bushes and trees we swung ourselves down the almost perpendicular mountain side and reached the ground in safety, but flushed and excited by our violent exercise.

Supper was exceedingly welcome to us, fried chicken and hot shortcake dissappered rapidly enough to have astonished any city bred young lady had any such been present. I am happy to say that I do not feel any bad effects from my walk this morning.

Saturday, September 1st —

Can any one imagine who came this morning? It is almost impossible, so I will tell, it was Mr. McJunkin. Oh! I was so much surprised and excited that I now feel quite weak, I did not think that he would come back here again. He looks very much better than he did when he went away, he says that he went all around, — to Cotoosa, Lookout and Stone mountains and to Atlanta, and that he felt much more at home here than anywhere else.

Sunday Sep. 2nd —

This has been quite a lonely day, Miss Helen, Miss Julia, Florence Illges, and Florence Underwood, and Messrs McJunkin and Bell have all gone to the camp meeting; Miss Lou and I staid at home from choice, we have been together nearly all day; for we wish to spend the last day we have as much together as possible. Miss Lou and Miss Helen with their sisters Florence and Ida are going home tomorrow, we shall miss them very much. We shall soon be alone here, for Mrs. Illges is going next week and she will take Miss Julia with her.

Mrs. Illges has had a great disagreement (to call it by no harsher name) with Miss Lizzie, the housekeeper here, and she does not wish to stay any longer than she can help.

— I have just turned back and been reading my last summer’s journal, Oh what a flood of memories sweep over me as I read her name and think that nevermore shall I hear the soft tones of her voice or look into those loving eyes, the expression of which was but the index of her warm heart, ever throbbing with love for me. Oh! would that I could walk in the path which she trod, that her beautiful nature might fall as a mantle on my shoulders; my God give me strength to act so as to meet her in that bright happy realm to which she has gone; O God guide her motherless children, thou who hast called little children to thee take them in thy arms and protect them from every storm.

Thursday Sept. 6th —

Miss Helen and Miss Lou with their two sisters left as they expected, Mr. Woodburn and Mr. Bell went with them. I felt sad to part with them all, except Mr. Woodburn, and I was really glad to see him go.

Well, we are nearly alone now, Mrs. Illges and her family and Mr. McJunkins left us yesterday. It was hard to part with them, and I miss them very much, but I daresay it is better for us to be here alone . Tuesday night we all sat up until nearly midnight dancing and playing games. Mr. Bell brought the hack for Mrs. Illges so we had one addition to our party. I was not at all sleepy and could have sat up all night, even after I had retired I lay awake a long time and woke up before daylight in the morning. I dressed myself and Miss Julia and I went down to the spring, whither we were soon followed by Miss Mary and Florence Illges. We had sat there some time when Mr. McJunkin came up, and we were soon after called to breakfast. —

I took my first lessons in shooting the other day. Miss Julia, Mr. Mc Junkin and I were up at the spring when Mr. McJ. asked us if we would not like to shoot. Upon our answering in the affirmative he put his hand in his breast and took out a pistol, I confess I was a little startled when it appeared in his hand, it seemed strange to see that deadly weapon come from next a man’s heart, although it was so neat and pretty that it was in no danger of soiling the spotless linen against which it lay; he loaded it, put up a mark, and gave it into my hands to shoot. After being instructed how to hold it, and to take sight, I pulled the trigger and when the flash was over he took it from my trembling hands, and almost unable to stand I sat down. Miss Julia and I both shot twice, but neither of us hit the mark, Miss Julia’s came the nearest.

Dr. Hammond has been quite unwell all day, Mother as Mr. Wilkes to go for Mrs. Hammond this afternoon and we are expecting them every moment.

Mrs. Underwood’s waggon came today, she is going to leave tomorrow. Mrs. Cobb’s son also came this evening, they will start away tomorrow. Mr. Wurley, who has been all the week at the camp meeting came back this evening with Mr. Cobb.

Sunday Sep. 9th —

Well! all have gone and left us, the Underwoods and Cobbs both went Friday. We share the hotel with Dr. and Mrs. Hammond, the only regular boarders here except ourselves, by the way the Dr. is still quite unwell, but has improved since his wife came. We have had one topic for conversation ever since Mrs. Illges and her party left, this is the nature of the attention paid by Mr. McJunkin to Miss Julia. There are three opinions, Mrs. and Mr. Loughmiller and Mr. Wurley think that they are in love and will marry, Ma thinks that Mr. McJunkin sees that Miss Julia likes gentlemen’s attention and is flirting with her, Mrs. Hammond and I do not see that Mr. McJunkin has paid Miss Julia any particular attention. I had formed a higher opinion of Mr. McJ. than that he is a male flirt and I cannot — I was about to say I will not — believe it. I did not think that he paid her any more attention than he did the other young ladies here, the only thing that I cannot explain to myself is one circumstance, when Mrs. Illges left she and her family, including Miss Julia went in the hack and Mr. McJunkin went in a buggy, when they stopped at a river to water the horses Mr. McJ. invited Miss Julia to get in the buggy with him, she accepted the invitation and they went on to Dalton together; this is accepted here as conclusive argument that he is paying attention to her. I could go on in this manner for an hour or two but I consider that to pursue the subject any further would be a waste of time, I have just mentioned it so that whatever allusions I may make hereafter may be understood.

We all went up on the mountain yesterday evening, all the white people that more left at home were Mr. Loughmiller and the little children. Mother stood the walk better than I expected, but is very much tired today.

Who do you think we found here when we came back to the house? Mr. Woodburn! the last person in the world I should have wished to see, but my displeasure at his coming was considerably mollified when he handed me a letter from my beloved Father. Father says that he picked up several little rocks for me in Texas, oh! how my heart ran over with love for him when I read that, even when far off in Texas on a business tour he recollected my peculiarities, and gentle and loving as he always is he brought back a memento for me, those little rooks are dearer to me than the costliest gift he could have procured, for they show that he does not disdain to humour his little daughter’s oddities even when in the midst of business.

But the dinner bell has rung and I must away. —

I am going down to the spring to spend the evening in reading, but before I go I want to note down one thing. Father said that he had received a letter from Uncle Dole, saying that he would be married soon, this is very different from the conduct of Uncle Moses and Miss Clark, who never have given us the slightest intimation of their marriage. Mother received a letter from her, signed “M. J. W.” but not speaking of the marriage or making any allusion to it. They may have sent us cards, which have miscarried, and I hope they have, for I should feel very badly it I thought my Uncle could continue to treat us with such indifference.

Monday, Sep. 10th —

Mr. Woodburn has gone, he left this morning, he seemed very nervous and looked rather sad at leaving, I was sorry for him, but I must confess I was glad of his departure. He asked me to corespond with him, but of course I refused.

This is a “misty morning" my hands and feet were so cold that I had a fire kindled in my room and am now sitting by it.

Wednesday, Sep. 12th —

I had just finished writing the above on Monday when we were all gladdened by the sight of a hack coming down the road, and we were still more glad when we recognized General Robison and Grandma and the occupants. Grandma is thinner than when I saw her last, but she is not sick at present.

The General went away yesterday, he said that he had never missed attending the superior court and could not now, so he just stopped long enough to tell us the news and then went off.

We are having delightful weather now, so cool and bracing. I have just returned from a ramble in the woods, and feel as if I had a new life in me, when I first came here and for some time before, I felt depressed and weak, and thought (does it not seem strange?) that I was beginning to lose the freshness and vigor of youth, but now the blood courses swiftly through my veins and the bright hue of health is beginning to come into my usually pale cheeks. I am sure I have no reason to be dissatisfied with Cohuttah, nor am I, I have enjoyed myself here, and hope I may sometime come here again.

Mrs. Hammond left yesterday, I was very sorry to tell her goodbye, she may come back again, however.

Cohuttah, Sep. 18th — Tuesday. —

Grandma, Dr. Hammond and Miss Lizzie (the housekeeper) all went away this morning, we are now quite alone, with the exception of Mrs. Loughmiller, who is quite a pleasant lady. Two gentlemen came this evening to measure some land, they are going away in the morning, however.

Monday night. Sep. 24th —

Today was Monday, and of course we all looked eagerly for the mail and received it joyfully when it arrived, it was an unusually large mail today, and contained interesting letters and papers from various parts of the union,

But before I give an abstract of the news, I must speak of an adventure we had yesterday; in the afternoon we all went out to take a walk over the mountain, one of the mountains which we had not visited before, we arrived at the summit after a short walk and stopped to rest awhile and look at a very pleasant view which was spread out before us, at length we started down and as none of us knew the way (Mrs. Loughmiller and her little Lizzie were the only ones in the party besides our family) Mother began to entertain fears lest we should have some trouble about getting

I sprang forward and with my usual impetuosity plunged through the bushes until I arrived at a point from which I could see the path and the little stream which runs along through the hollow, here I shouted to the others and they soon came in sight, I then went on in the plain cart road and having no obstacles in the shape of mountains to contend with my thoughts pursued that calm and tranquil way which is in unison with the character of the Sabbath, and I walked, my hands folded behind me and my eyes elevated from the ground. In this calm mood and composed situation what was my surprise, nay more properly my horror and terror at seeing stretched across the road , its head elevated upon a small stone, a large black snake! Now I instinctively recoil from the sight of any reptile, even a harmless worm, my terror can then be imagined when I saw this snake, I sprang back and waited until the others came up; Lory who is bold and fearless beyond his years began to throw stones at it to see whether it was alive or not, but though one of the stones grazed it gave no signs of life and gathering courage I took up a stone to throw, just as I was raising my arm for this purpose Mrs. Loughmiller’s littl dog Wooly sprang forward with a quick, sharp bark and the snake immediately coiled and with head erect hissed at the dog. We all immediately fled a few paces and then stopped to deliberate, I said we all fled, I should have excepted Lory, he staid there chunking at the snake and would not come away until Mother had called him several times. He then came very reluctantly and insisted that we should go back and kill the snake, but we decided to return over the mountain (which, by the way, is no more than a high hill) and send some one to kill the snake. We found the path and went on without any difficulty when we arrived at the house Lory and I took two negro boys and went after the snake but we could not find it.

I have detailed our adventure so minutely that I have not much more time to write, and fear I must defer mentioning the contents of my letters until tomorrow, however, I will write a little longer as I shall have to answer my letters tomorrow and will not have time to journalize.

In the first place I received a letter from my dear Father in which, besides telling us of his health he says that he expects to come for us about the 4th of next month, he also says that Mr. Green came to our house the night before with a chill on him, that he had not seen him that morning and therefore did not how he was; Father was on the point of leaving for New Orleans and only wrote a few lines. I received a letter from Willie, he is still well, he says that Aunt Satira has arrived at Scarborough, and that Uncles David and Dole are expected soon. And lastly, I had the pleasure of receiving a letter from Miss Julia Rucker, she says that though the White Sulphur Springs are gay and very pleasant, she often wishes herself back here, and can never forget the pleasant hours she has spent here, she says that she has been feeling very badly and that it was owing to this that she did not write sooner. She was expecting Mr. McJunkin the next day, he intended to stay at White Sulphur two weeks, but she says twice in her letter that she intends to return to Butler (her home) immediately. I do not know how to think of the matter of their courtship but shall look on with my usual interest till it comes to an end.

Mother received a note and paper from Mr. Woodburn, also a book which she requested him to send. My surprise was great upon finding in the mail a package directed to me and postmarked ’Columbia, ’So. Carolina. Upon opening it I found a very pretty copy of Childe Harold with the words written on the fly leaf through the respect of a friend”. I was sorry to have the book from him, but of course it was not to be helped.

I forgot to mention that Mother received Uncle Moses’ cards two weeks ago, today she had a letter from Miss Clark.

Monday, October 1st / 60 —

I have begun the month badly, I was so weak this morning when I first rose, that I was obliged to go to bed again. I dressed myself after drinking a cup of coffee and been sewing all the morning, still I feel very badly and am scarcely able to stand up. I am waiting rather impatiently for the mail, and to make the time pass more quickly I am going down to the spring.

Tuesday, Oct. 2nd —

Mother received a letter from Father yesterday, he says that he expects to leave about the 5th or 6th of the month and that we will probably be in Vicksburg about the 15th. I was disappointed in not receiving a letter from anyone, much to my surprise, however, I had some poetry from Mr. Woodburn.

In one of her letters Mother jestingly asked Father how he would like a minister for a soninlaw, he answered her remark in earnest, he said, “Whenever Sarah marries, which I hope may not be before she is twenty years old, I should prefer that her husband be engaged in some active out of doors business, not that I object particularly to a parson, except that I suppose she will take an interest in her husband’s profession and I think it best that her mind should be turned from metaphysics to which I think she is rather too much inclined.

Neither my Father nor Mother have a cause to fear lest I should make an unwise choice, for I intend to pass a single life and to prove false the sentence “If matrimony have many trials, celibacy has no pleasures”. This is not a romantic maiden’s vow, but it tis a conclusion to which I have come after sober thought. I think it would be wrong for me to marry, my health, or more properly my constitution is too feeble to sustain the burden which a wife and Mother must bear. I know too well the disappointments attendant upon a feeble constitution to wish to entail them upon another generation sprung from me.

A Miss Lizzie Keany came here this morning she has been sick nearly two months, and had to be carried to her room. She lives in Jackson, Miss. but went to spend her vacation with one of the Miss Edmondson’s of Spring place, she was taken sick the day after her arrival, and has been confined to her room ever since.

Wednesday, Oct. 10th —

Father came yesterday morning, I was so much delighted, we all (all of us children) walked nearly up to the store to meet him, and at every turn of the fence we wished that a buggy would come in sight, we had turned back, and were standing at the branch throwing stones in the water when a vehicle with two horses turned the corner, there was a lady in black in it and I concluded that it was Miss Edmondson, but as the Carriage approached nearer I saw that it was Pa and Miss Annie Horne. Miss Annie returned home last night.

This morning after breakfast Father took all of us except Georgie and went to walk, intending to try to go to where they are picking chestnuts out in the mountains. We walked about five miles and back, making ten in all. I never should have thought I could walk so far, we were back to dinner at one o’clock, we gathered about a gallon of chestnuts, but did not go to where they are very plenty.

Monday night the weather turned quite cold, and last night we expected frost, it is now warmer.

Saturday, Oct 13th /60 —

Oh! the weather is so cold. I have been shivering nearly all day, the sky looks gray and cold and the sun has not shone today.

I would not very much care for the weather, disagreeable as it is, were it not that Father is suffering a great deal with the rheumatism, he was taken yesterday morning, and could not lie down at all last night, he was in such pain; Thursday evening we went up on the mountain, all of us went except John, we had a delightful time, and I went to bed thinking how much I should enjoy a few more such rambles with Pa, but in the morning how sad to find him suffering.

Miss Mary Vernon, a sister of Mrs. Loughmiller’s, came here on Tuesday. Father thinks it was carrying George up the mountain and then sitting down in the cool air that brought on this attack, he did not carry George but a little way, but that was very steep.

Here is some poetry I found in an old collection of Mrs. Loughmiller’s. —

On the death of the Ettrick Sheperd —

When first, descending from the morelands,
I saw the stream of Yarrow glide
Along a bare and open valley,
The Ettrick Shepard was my guide.

When last along its banks I wandered,
Thro’ leaves which had begun to shed
Their golden leaves upon the pathways
My steps the Border Minstrel led.

The mighty minstrel breathes no longer,
’Mid mouldering ruins low he lies;
And death upon the braes of Yarrow
Has closed the Sheperd-Poet’s eyes.

Nor has the rolling year twice measured
From sign to sign his steadfast course,
Since every mortal power of Coleridge,
Was frozen at its marvellous source.

The rapt one, of the Godlike forehead,
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in earth,
And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his lonely hearth.

Like clouds that rake the mountain summits,
Or waves that own no curbing hand,
How fast has brother followed brother
From sunshine to the sunless land!

Yet I whose lids from infant slumbers
Were earlier raised, remain to hear
A timid voice which asks in whispers,
“Who next will drop and disappear?"

Our haughty life is crowned with darkness,
Like London with its own black wreath,
On which with thee, O Crabbe, forthlooking
I gazed from Hempstead’s breezy heath;

As it but yesterday departed,
Thou too art gone before; yet why
For ripe fruit seasonably gathered,
Should frail survivors heave a sigh?

No more of old romantic sorrows
For slaughtered youth and love-lorn maid;
With sharper grief is Yarrow smitten,
And Ettrick mourns with her their shepherd dead.

I think the above lines are beautiful, they breathe such a sense of subdued sorrow, not passionate like Byron, but seeming just like what I should imagine Wordsworth to be.

Thursday, Oct. 18th —

Father is getting better, he has been free from pain for several days but is very weak, Mother thinks he has had the broken bone fever and not the rheaumatism.

Miss Lizzie Keeney and Miss Mary Vernon went away yesterday, I was rather sorry to part with Miss Lizzie, she is a very pleasant young lady.

We expect to go away Monday, I am almost sorry to leave here we have spent such a quiet, pleasant summer that I hate to go back to the noise and bustle of the town, I hate to take up again the burden of working life, after such a respite from care as I have had for the last two months, still I wish to go to studying again for I feel more than ever before my great ignorance in all that pertains to the knowledge of a student. I know nothing of the sciences and no language except my own and a little of the latin, then there are accomplishments, music, which is almost necessary and drawing and painting, which I dearly love. Ah! I have much, very much to learn.

We are still having cold weather, we have had two heavy frosts, the side of the mountain looks beautiful now, bright red and yellow leaves are intermixed with the dark pines, and the lively green of some trees which have not yet begun to turn.

Mrs. Loughmiller, her sister, Mr. Henry and all of us went up the mountain Tuesday. We went early in the morning and staid until nearly three o’clock, we enjoyed ourselves very much, we took a cold dinner along and roasted some potatoes in a great fire which we made on the mountain top.

If Pa had been able to have gone our pleasure would have been without alloy.

Vicksburg — Friday, Oct. 26th —

We have arrived at Vicksburg once more, how long to remain I know not. We left Cohuttah last Monday, met Mrs. Horne’s Family at Dalton, and came through to V. only stopping one night at Chattanooga.

From Chattanooga to Stevenson I was in a continual ectasy, once before when I passed along there two years since, I was delighted with the prospect of lofty mountains and charming valleys clad in living green and radiant in the sunlight of a bright July morning, and again when we went to Georgia, how beautiful were the blue mountains in the soft moonlight, but now more beautiful than vernal green or shadowy moonlight forms, were the lofty mountains covered with the brilliant hues of Autumn, and the lovely valley of the Tennessee where all the colors of the mountain were seen, only more subdued, and rendered still more beautiful by the long grey moss which hung from the giant trees, and then the view in the distance, how beautiful, nay entranceing it was, it seemed as if I could gaze for ever upon its still, peaceful beauty, and while admiring this charming prospect a mist arose from the river and covering the valley gradually enfolded the mountains leaving only the peaks visible. It was like the veil of an Eastern beauty which “half concealing half revealing” but increases her charms.

After we left Stevenson we saw many beautiful groves and passed along some pretty places but we saw no more such scenery as that of which I first spoke.

All day Tuesday and Tuesday night we were on the cars stopping only for meals which we eat hurriedly and then hastened on again arrived at Jackson the next morning nearly at noon. We had time to wash off some of the dust and cinders get dinner, and then embarking on the freight train we came on to Vicksburg where we arrived at dark. Here we were met by Mr. Green, who told as the sad tidings that Mr. Horne was sick, confined to his bed. Poor Mrs. Horne was greatly agitated. Father procured her a skiff and Mr. Green accompanied her over to De Soto where she found Mr. Horne much better but not able to go out, he has continued to improve but Saturday and Sunday he was thought unable to live.

Miss Annie Lamar and the children came home with us, they have been here ever since for their house is being painted and they cannot sleep there.

Uncle Moses and his wife are here, at least in Vicksburg, they are boarding at the Washington Hotel, they were here nearly a week before we came. I went down to see Aunt Jane yesterday, Mother was too much fatigued to go, and she and Uncle Moses came up here to see us in the afternoon. I found myself calling her Miss Clark very frequently. I do not think she is looking at all well; she has brought out all the fashions with her and is dressed very fashionably but neatly and very gracefully.

Willie has come on and has left for Louisiana, he has taken away one of his mules which we had for the carriage and bought another so as to have a team, he has gone to work. I felt so much disappointed when I heard that he had gone, we miss him very much.

We found Uncle Dole’s cards awaiting us when we arrived here, he send one to Mr. and Mrs. Wadley and Family and then another envelope for me, I was very much gratified. I think so much of such little things.

I cannot take lessons from Mr. Burr any longer, they say he is an abolitionist, at any rate, he has not come back, and his house is for sale, he sent a young man here to teach his school, but he did not get one scholar, and the people paid his expenses back to the North as he had no money; it is said that Mr. Burr took a negro girl on with him whom he had previously bought and taught to read.

There is a great excitement here concerning the coming election. God grant that it may not be the cause of breaking up our glorious Union, but still the Union is but a name, there is no concord, no real heart Union any longer. The Abolitionists have sowed the seeds of dissension and insurrection among us, those seeds are fast ripening and a blood harvest seems impending; they have burnt our homesteads, killed our citizens, and incited our servants to poision us, think they that we will submit to continual disturbances, oft repeated wrongs, much longer, no! they shout Freedom and Union, but they would take away our freedom and give it to the negro, they would sap the foundations of that Union which our ancestors labored amid bloodshed and tyranny to found. We can no longer claim them as brothers, I shudder to contemplate a civil war. New England is the birthplace of my Father and of myself, amid its hills lie buried the remains of my cherished Aunt, of many ancestors, yet dear as is its soil to me never can I claim Friendship with those who have contemplated my country’s ruin. Better far for us would be civil war than this dreadful incubus which hangs over us now, this continual wrangling and bitter malediction with which we are persecuted.

Oh! may our countrymen see our wrongs ere it is too late, may they retrace their course ere they plunge themselves into a gulf of ruin from which they cannot escape. The North has more towns and villages, she has a greater population, but Southernors when called to fight for their homes, for their liberty will they not prove superior to fanatics whose zeal will soon cool, and whose sober reason (if reason they have) will tell them they are impolitic as well as wicked? Besides, the North is not all filled with Abolitionists, there are some true hearts left.

Tuesday, Oct. 30th —

I have been confined to my bed since Saturday, and am very weak now, I ought not to be writing, but I have just finished my solitary supper and feel so quiet up here that I cannot help writing a little bit.

Mr. Horne was to have come here yesterday but his wife persuaded him to remain quiet a week longer, his family are still here. Oh! ’tis impossible for me to attempt to write I must put down the pen and go to bed.

Wednesday, Nov. 6th —

We are a little more settled than we were when I wrote here last. Mr. Horne has come over & his family have gone to their house. Father has been to Munroe once, returned, and gone again, he will bring Willie back with him Sunday. Mother has decided that we are not to go to school this winter, I am disappointed but must try and improve as much as possible in my music and drawing; I am to take music lessons from Mr. Nocepelius, a german who formerly taught in Savannah. Mr. Eaton has gone to New Orleans, a lady told me a few days ago that he said the reason he went was because he wanted to attend the opera in the evening, he had no amusement here except to go and see the young ladies and as he could not do that without its being reported he was going to marry them, he had nothing for amusement. Though not a speech for a gentleman to make it is characteristic of Mr. Eaton, who is both conceited and indolent.

I wrote a letter to Miss Julia Rucker before leaving Cohuttah which I was so careless as to mislay so I must write again, I want to do it this evening but it is getting so dark that I do not think I can, how quickly the twilight comes now, winter is here, but I can scarcely believe it. I feel as if the winter is strange and often my mind reverts to last winter as a time long past, more a dream than reality.

This is election day but we have not been disturbed by noise in this part of the town, everything has been quiet thus far.

Saturday, Nov. 10th / —

Tomorrow Father and Willie will come, how glad I shall be. I have been hard at work sweeping and dusting this morning and feel quite tired. I am so easily fatigued, perhaps if I took more exercise of this kind I might stronger.

I really do not know why I opened my journal this morning, for I having nothing to write, the great news of the day is that Lincoln is elected, and South Carolina is in a state of great excitement. I hope it will all end well.

We are having very pleasant weather, I am sitting with my windows open and I hear a bird singing from the mulberry trees outside.

Saturday, Nov. 17th / 60 —

Willie has come and gone, he and Father came over Monday morning, and we were all delighted to see them, especially Georgie, he came to the door and would not let Pa kiss him hardly, but said where is my brother Willie, when he saw Willie coming up the street with his high boots on, the saddlebags over his arm and his beard long, he would not believe that it was his “Brother Willie” but ran away from him; he soon became accustomed to him however, and was on his knee or in his arms almost all the time.

Monday was the twentieth anniversary of Father and Mother’s marriage, and to celebrate it, they invited Mr. Horne’s family, Aunt Jane and Dr. Young to dine with us. Uncle Moses was obliged to go over the river.

Willie looked in better health than when he left Cohuttah, but was rather thin, he is very much pleased with the country out there, likes it a great deal better than Vicksburg. Father has taken him into partnership with him the firm is “Wm Wadley & Son” contractors for grading the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas railroad.

Willie seemed more mild and affectionate than ever, I hated to see him go away.

Mr. and Mrs. Raoul from Independence came to visit us Tuesday night, Wednesday we had Mr. Green to dinner, Mr. Green is one of those little men, (so seldom found) who is not conceited, he is on the contrary quite bashful. Father tells us amusing stories sometimes of his bashfulness and quick temper. Father has given up the care of the Southern road almost entirely to him, and this being his first experience as a superindent he is often worried as to what is best to do. I think that it must be because Father is so tall and large that I dislike little men, in my opinion it is a real misfortune for a man to be little, and yet, much as I dislike his stature I can but like Mr. Green he is so free from conceit so pleasant in conversation and so corteus in his manners. Why is it that I am always better pleased with gentlemen and ladies of thirty or forty than with those who are younger? it must be because I have been more accustomed to associate with them.

I liked Mrs. Raoul very well, she reminded a great deal of Mrs. Garrett; Mr. Raoul appears much better with his wife than without her, before this visit I always felt uncomfortable in his presence, he seemed so nervous, but he was not so with his wife. They left yesterday.

Mother bought me a case of pencils the other day, I was so much pleased, they are just what I have wanted for three or four years.

Miss Mary and I commenced taking Music lessons from Mr. Nocepolius Monday, I like him better than Mr. Eaton he manifests more interest in his employment.

Saturday, Nov. 24th / —

For the last two weeks I have written on Saturday and now I sit down again to record the events of the past week. Father came in to see us Sunday morning, and went after dinner, he has been gone all the week. We expected him today but as it is past twelve and he has not come we can only hope to see him.

The weather is so cold. Thursday it rained all day, yesterday was dark and unpleasant, and today is bright and frosty, the mud in the streets was all frozen up this morning, and all standing was turned to ice. Eva and I have just returned from a ramble over fort hill, we went up by the regular road but came down on the steepest side, we saw a little fall where the water was all turned to icicles, by the time we arrived back home we were in a perspiration.

Dr. Young was here yesterday afternoon, he had just returned from New Orleans, and said that it was impossible to borrow money, he says that he thinks there will certainly be a dissolution of the Union.

I received a letter from Aunt Satira a few days since, the tone of her letter is melancholy she says that this world will never be to her again what it has been. I know how I miss dear Aunt Lydia, I have never been very much with her but I knew her well enough to love her dearly and I have many little things to remind me constantly of her, how much worse must it be for Aunt Satira. Aunt Lydia was a true Christian but Aunt Satira has no religious belief. Much as I sorrow for her, I think my Aunt’s death has done me good, I feel nearer to heaven since she has gone there and I have learned now to feel resigned at her loss. She was too tender in body and heart for this life, she must be happier now, for her poor motherless children I mourn, they never knew her worth.

Wednesday, Nov. 28th —

Day before yesterday was my sixteenth birthday, it passed away quite as every other day does except that I took my music lesson as it was Monday.

Mother said she intended to have given me a birthday present but the times are so hard she could not afford it.

Mr. Horne has gone to Georgia to try and raise some money and Father left for New Orleans yesterday on the same errand I expect; Father expects to come back tomorrow night. I hope this pressure will not last long, Father does not think it will, but there are many others who do.

We have had no service in Church for two Sundays, Dr. Lord has been too sick to preach. Mr. Nocepelius says he has a bad cold, I hope he will recover before next Sabbath.

Mr. Green was here to dinner Sunday, he was as usual very pleasant, said he really thought to go to church in the morning, but went down to the depot and found things in such disorder there, that he had to stay and right them up. Last Sunday the reason he did not go was because he had locked up the key of his room and could not get his nice clothes out; ah! why do we poor mortals allow so many things as excuses for not performing our duty to God. We think our worldly business of so much more importance than attending to his commands that we first attend to that and then serve God in our supefluous time.

Mother has engaged a white woman as a sort of head servant, she seems to be a very good woman, was born in Scotland and raised in Philadelphia. Mother has taken her on trial for a month, I think she will keep her.

It has been raining all the week, and will probably continue until the end, for it is too warm to clear off yet.

Monday, Dec. 3rd / 1860. —

I have so much much news that I do not know what to write first, but as I must make a beginning I will commence with Father. He has just come but I have not had time to learn how he came, the rains last week damaged the New Orleans and Jackson road so much and Father was so long a time getting over the breaks that he could not come home Thursday as he expected. We heard dreadful accounts of the road it was said that there were fourteen breaks in it and that Father could not get home unless he went round by the river, but he has come, and by the railroad too. He says the New Orleans road is worse broken in pocket than the track.

And now I have bad news to write, Willie has very narrowly escaped being killed, he was out in the woods having same trees cut down when one fell, and hitting him on the side of his head, grazed his shoulder and knocked him down. Had it struck him a half an inch further on his head he would have died. Oh! how thankful I feel to the power that preserved him to us; he is now quite well, so Mr. Green (the engineer on the other side) says.

The Southern road has not come out unhurt from the rains, one of the bridges is washed away.

Dr. Lord has recovered from his illness, sufficiently to preach. We had service yesterday but Dr. Lord looked quite unwell.

We had a rain again last night, but the sky is clear again, though it is very muddy.

Mr. Nocepelius has not given us a lesson for a week, I think he must be sick for he was in Church yesterday; he is the organist.

Tuesday, Dec. 4th —

I wrote so soon after Father’s return yesterday (indeed I commenced writing before it) that I had not learned any of his news; he had to walk six miles Sunday and rode some distance on an engine, and worse than all he fell into a river at one time and sat in the sun until his pants were half dry. I am afraid that not even his iron constitution can bear such exposure without injury.

Father says that since his visit to New Orleans he is convinced that we must secede, it is impossible for the North and South to coalesce.

Dr. Palmer, pastor of the first Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, delivered an excellent sermon on thanksgiving day. Father brought the paper containing it up to us, he (Dr. P.) says that he has never before intruded his opinions upon political subjects, but that for some months he has forseen that the crisis in our history was fast approaching and that now it has come he deems it the duty of every one who can influence the public mind to speak boldly for the right; he then goes on to show by uncontrovertible arguments that slavery is providential and right, that the slave being by nature incapable of self government is dependent upon his master for protection and that it is the duty of the master to extend that protection to him, his forcible and eloquent words are these

“He leans upon me for protection for counsel and for blessing; and so long as the relation continues no power but the power of Almighty God shall come between him and me. Were there no argument but this, it binds upon us the providential duty of preserving the relation that we may save him from a doom worse than death” again “Strike now a blow at this system of labor and the world itself totters at the stroke, shall we permit the blow to fall? do we not owe it to civilized man to stand in the breach and stay the uplifted arm?” again “This trust we will discharge in the face of the worst possible peril. Though war be the aggregation of all evils, yet should the madness of the hour appeal to the arbitration of the sword, we will not shrink from the baptism of fire. If modern crusaders stand in serried ranks upon some plain of Esdraelon, there shall we be in defence of our trust.

Not till the last man has fallen behind the last rampart, shall it drop from our hands; and then only in surrender to God who gave it” and in conclusion the position of the South is at this moment sublime. If she has grace given her to know her hour she will save herself, her country and the world. It will involve indeed temporary prostration and distress; the dykes of Holland must be out to save her from the troops of Phillip. But I warn my countrymen, the historic moment, once passed, never returns. If she will arise in her majesty and speak now as with the voice of one man, she will roll back for all time the curse that is upon her. If she succumbs now, she transmits that curse as an heirloom to posterity".

These are only Dr. Palmer’s conclusions that I have quoted, he supports them by sound and christian reasoning, the whole sermon is forcible, temperate and sensible, there is no attempt to stimulate the imagination, but to convince the reason and strengthen the courage of his hearers.

Dr. Palmer is a talented minister, well known throughout these states, and his sermon, which Father thinks will be issued in phamplet form, will influence many.

Oh! if the South would only unite and not disgrace herself in this hour of common peril by internal bickerings.

Saturday, Dec. 8th —

The week has passed very quietly indeed to me, my mornings have been spent in alternate hours of practising and painting and the evenings in reading “Lardner on the steam engine, and having Father explain what I did not understand. It is so pleasant to have Father at home, he has not been home a whole week before since we returned from Cohuttah.

We are to move over the river as soon as we can, probably in about three weeks, Miss Mary and I are going down to Amite, during the moving time, to see Miss Valeria Ridgill & her sisters, and Mrs. Raoul, Mr. Raoul was here to dinner yesterday, he went away on the evening train but would have remained another day if we could have gone home with him.

Mr. Nocepelius has been on a “spree” the reason why he did not give us our music lessons. He came Thursday and excused himself by saying that he had sprain his ankle and could not walk, poor man! I feel very sorry for him, he is an educated man, is a perfect gentleman when sober, but he is too weak to resist the love of liquor, he was pale and haggard Thursday and his ankle was so lame that he walked with difficulty.

The first part of the week was very cold indeed, but yesterday the weather moderated very much and this morning it was like spring. I have taken two very long walks this week, and a few short ones, exercise benefits me, I feel very well indeed.

Monday, Dec. 10th —

We all went to Church yesterday and heard a fine sermon from Dr. Lord, Father was very such pleased with it, he spoke of the mistaken piety of abolitionists so delicately that he did not once speak the word slavery, or secession, and yet every one knew what he was speaking of. The text was taken from Isaih, and pronounced woe upon those who setting up their own judgement and their own code of morals instead of religion, and the scriptures, condemn that which has been sanctioned both by the bible, and by ancient usage.

Mr. Green was here last night, and in speaking of the sermon I remarked that I did not think the sermon applied, or was intended to apply, to the abolitionists alone, but to every one who thought they possessed in their consciences a surer guide to virtue and a greater safegaurd against vice than the Bible and Christianity, Mr. Green said it might then apply to him but that he hoped he did not think he could do without religion. I was not thinking of him when I spoke but I am afraid his words are only too true.

Mr. Horne returned yesterday, we met him as we came from Church, he succeeded in getting a little money and is promised some more, he says the times are not near as bad in Georgia as they are here.

But I must really stop writing I have to strain my eyes to see the letters, Mr. Nocepelius gave us a lesson, Miss Annie and Lamar were in the room at the time and he was so embarrassed he could scarcely give the lesson.

Friday night. Dec. 14th /’60 —

I have been busy packing all day and am not yet more than half through my part, I spent the morning in packing my own dear keepsakes and a few books that I must carry with me, these had to be so carefully stowed away that they filled one trunk and kept me busy packing them until dinner time.

It makes me melancholy to look over these things, they recall so many past scenes some pleasant, some painful.

After dinner, with Miss Allen’s help I packed four boxes of books just as tight as possible, which Uncle Jim is now screwing up, these are to be left at Mrs. Horne’s until the railroad is finished to Monroe.

Eva and Lory are delighted at the prospect of going over where Willie is, but while I was packing the books I could not but think of the first time those boxes were packed how delighted I was when they came up from the depot and how important I felt because I was chosen to help Pa and Willie pack. I remember now how I sat perched up on a pile of boxes, pencil and book in hand taking a list of books, my journal for that time says that like all children I was pleased with novelty.

Father went over the river Tuesday, we expect him and Willie back Sunday; I have been so busy this week finishing up my correspondence for this year practising, sewing and visiting, that the time has seemed short to me, Oh! there is the supper bell I must go. —

Mr. Gnocepelius (that is the way he spells his name I believe) gave a lesson Thursday he says he will come over to Monroe once a week and give his lessons as soon as the road is completed.

I am very tired, and as I have a good days work before me tomorrow, I must put up my writing and retire. I have yet some things to lay away for tomorrow’s packing.

The weather yesterday and today has been very cloudy and unpleasant, it rained a little last night but I do not think it will rain more for it grows colder as the evening advances.

Sunday, Dec. 16th —

Father arrived very unexpectedly yesterday morning, and Willie came today. Willie is going down to Amite with us, I am so glad I was afraid we should have to go alone, it is settled that we are to Tuesday.

Mr. Green was here this morning, I saw him only for a moment, he came to ask Father’s advice about his business, some of the directors of the road have been finding fault with his proceedings I blieve.

Mother said he seemed very much hurt by it, he went down to New Orleans this evening, said he would wait till tomorrow if we could go then, but Father told Willie could go with us Tuesday. Pa afterwards told Mother that I did not want to go with him. I do not know how he found it out, I did not say so, I expect he read my feelings correctly though.

Vicksburg, Wednesday Dec. 19th —

We are still here. Tuesday morning Father came home and told us that some one had been killed on the Vicksburg and Shreveport road and he could not go out with Miss Allen and Sallie as he intended so Willie had to go for the baggage had been all sent off and there could be no delay; I had just finished my packing, laid out our clothing and had everything ready to start, of course I was dissappointed, but I did not feel it much at the time. I was so sorry for Father, he was so perplexed, and worried, and I know he hated to dissappoint us.

I felt yesterday so thankful that we had been kept from going, I thought I thought I would never again repine at a dissappointment for little Georgie was taken with the sore throat yesterday morning, and we were very much afraid that it was the terrible diptheria which is prevailing here now. Mother sent for Dr. Balfour and he said that it was not diphtheria but a bad sore throat. He proscribed a wash of pepper vinegar and directed that his throat should be rubbed with turpentine and sweet oil. This morning he came again, and changed the wash to one of sage tea, honey and alum. Georgie is now much better; John has taken cold and is not quite well.

I do not know now whether we shall go down to Amite at all, Mother cannot find our free ticket and if that is lost I am sure we cannot go, for the times are too hard for us to pay our passage.

I was perfectly surprised, nay astonished, Tuesday morning when Mother handed me a letter from Mr. Woodburn, it opened with, “Miss Sarah”, “my dear Friend”. I was offended at this style of address from one whom I had never considered more than an acquaintance, and whose presence when compelled to bear I had scarcely tolerated. Often while at Cohuttah I reproached myself with rudeness to him, but all my slights were lost, for he wrote of the delight with which he looked back upon his brief but pleasant sojourn at Cohuttah said that when he parted from us he “felt he was not a stranger parting with strangers but a friend who had been receiving the kind offices of friendship and taking leave of those whom he would often remember as friends”. I was amazed at this paragraph, how was it possible that anyone, even the dullest of men could consider my coldness my repeated repulses and avoidances as manifestations of exalted friendship, and then he went on to say that it was amusing to see the military aspect Columbia had assumed, and the excitement there prevailing — , amusing indeed, a man of feeling and patriotism could not speak thus, a man of sense would be ashamed to treat so grave a subject with such silly levity, he must either be deficient in brains himself or must have a very poor opinion of me to think to interest me with such nonsense; but really I have become quite excited, more indignant than such a thing deserves, but I must be pardoned, my excuse is that I am very inexperienced; a few years from this time, I will wonder that such a thing could ever have moved me, even as I now wonder at the outbreakings of angered vanity which I remember in my early childhood.

Thursday, Dec. 20th —

Father has not returned yet, I do not think he will come until next week, the man was not killed, it was a Jew pedlar, who accuses one of the railroad hands of beating him dreadfully and taking four hundred dollars from him, he is able to testify against the negro; the trial will come off Saturday. It is reported that the negro has the proof of three white men that he was at the camp all day.

Georgie’s throat is almost well, he has been out today; John was very sick last night, but is much better today.

Tuesday, Dec. 25th / 1860. —

It is Christmas day, the great festival of the year, but this Christmas is not very merry to us, nor, I dare say, to many others in This country.

Dr. Lord said last Sunday that we ought to let the great wave of political troubles roll by for a while, and try and forget the exigencies of the times during Christmas, the anniversary of that day in which rose the sun of Righteousness; but this is very hard to do. We can have no tangible expressions of merry making, which though far less dignified than a deep Christian rejoicing goes very far towards promoting universal thankfulness and love in the household.

I wrote to Eddie Josselyn a few weeks ago and was very much gratified last Sunday to receive a reply, what was my surprise after reading nearly through the letter to see this sentence “Father has married our housekeeper, Emma H. Richardson”. I could not believe it and handed the letter to Mother that her reading might testify to the correctness of mine, poor children! I hope for them and pray that my hopes may be realized.

Mr. Green was here as usual Sunday night, he and father conversed principally upon the state of the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad, it appears that they have had two more breaks, and have repaired the old ones in a very bad manner. Mr. Green says he thinks they will have trouble down there, they have not money to pay their workmen, he does not think that Mr. Williams (who is the superintendant now) is to blame for the breaks, but Father says he is to blame for the waste on the line of the road.

Uncle Moses and Aunt Jane are coming to dine with us today. Father asked Mr. Green, but he had to go out on the road, I believe. Miss Mary and I expect now to leave here tomorrow on our way to Amite. Father thinks he will go with us, the free ticket is found, but Father says if it had not been he would rather pay our passages twice over than to have us not go, he does not wish to move us all at one time, Mother expects to leave here the last of this month or the first of next, it is a little undecided yet. Father and Willie have been very busy packing yesterday and this morning, there is not a great deal to do now.

Saturday, Dec. 29th — Amite —

This is the first good opportunity I have had to write in my journal since we arrived here.

We spent Christmas day very quietly, our only extra amusement was going to the Christmas tree at the Church. Eva was one of the Sabbath school scholars and Willie, Miss Mary and I went with her. Lamar Horne came round and we went together. Early the next morning rose, and after a good deal of bustle and confusion we told them all goodbye and bade a farewell also to our home in Vicksburg.

Father came with us, it was so pleasant to have him. At Jackson we met Mr. Green, it was a very unexpected meeting to me, I did not see him until he held out his hand to me. I fancied afterwards, it might have been only fancy, that he was less polite than I had ever seen him. We had to wait two or three hours at Jackson, but as I had a very interesting book with me (the history of Goethe) the time passed quickly and pleasantly.

All along on the New Orleans and Jackson railroad I felt so melancholy, I always do when I am on that road. I remember so many dissappointments connected more or less remotely with it, Father was talking with Mr. Hazelhurst and another gentleman a long while, and then he read the rest of the way, until dark so that I had no need to exert myself and be cheerful; we arrived he [illegible] without accident, met Mr. Stewart at the depot, left our trunk in his care and walked up to the house.

After knocking twice one of the servants came to the door and recognising us screamed out, “Miss Mary and Miss Sarah I declare”, upon this Gussie peeped out of a door and I created a comotion by going in the room and kissing all the children, who were in their night dresses. Mrs. Ridgill and Miss Valeria had not retired. Pa went back the same night.

We have spent our time so pleasantly, the days fly before we know it.

We sent down to see Mrs. Stewart’s Thursday morning, and passed the morning very pleasantly giving and receiving information about each other’s family and friends.

Yesterday evening we went to see Mrs. Duncan, it rained while we were there, and John had to put boards in the carriage for us to put our feet on coming home; Mrs. Duncan welcomed us very warmly.

All this morning has been occupied by visitors, Judge Huling and a Dr Richardson came over to see us, and Dr. Richardson staid all the morning, old Judge Huling went down to the depot for the mail, and told him to stay till he came back, so that no choice was left to the Doctor; he was quite agreeable.

Mother told us when we came away that we must practise an hour a day, we have not done it yet, and it seems as if we shall not be able to do it. Miss Mary seems to be enjoying herself very much, she and Gussie keep us laughing (that is Miss Maria and I) nearly all the time, and then they scold us for giggling so much.

Amite, — Dec. 31st /60 —

The last day of the old year! What sad thoughts arise within us as we think over the changes of the past twelve months, some have been taken away some have been added to us in that time.

How mournfully I think over the fruitless efforts the dead hopes that have passed over me; the unexecuted plans and resolves of last New Years rise up in accusation against me, a long train of accusers; and who can tell what another year may bring forth, in the midst of political excitement, of family confusion it befits me to trust all to God, and only to strive for a greater spirit of love and faith for him, so that I can apply to myself the promise “All things work together for good to them that love God”. — And truly we have much to be thankful for, God in his mercy has seen fit to take from us one whom we all love, but we have the consolation of believing that he has taken her to himself, and that he will not forget the motheless children commended to his care; but while one has been taken many have been preserved to us, and that too through great sickness and danger, one more precious soul has come to claim our care and affection; and God has given that great blessing love and unity in our family, then let us have faith in his goodness and thank him for all that he gives us, whether joy or sorrow, knowing that if we trust in him he will make it all right.

I received a letter from Mother today, it is dated the 29th. She says that they are still in Vicksburg, staying at Mrs. Horne’s and that they will probably remain until Tuesday. She says that we must remain here until we see Father, I am very glad that we are to stay, but sorry that Mother could not leave when she expected, I know it annoys her very much.

Yesterday morning when we first rose it was raining hard and towards noon it commenced sleeting and continued till night. Oh! it was so cold this morning.

Judge Huling and Dr. Richardson spent the evening here, the Judge came over in the morning and said that the Dr. was sick, he had a “beating in the breast” and the Judge wanted to bring him over so that Miss Valeria might prescribe for him.

Thursday, January 3rd / 1861.

The new year has come in peaceably enough with us, but with confusion and terror in some parts of our country, the papers say that the ship Harriet Lane has been sent to Charleston, and been denied admittance into the Harbour, it is said that Charleston is full of Soldiers and that the ladies are all busy preparing lint and bandages.

The years 1860 and 1861 will long be remembered, not only in this, but in other countries.

Monday evening we went down to see Mr. Waters, he is at home alone, Miss Lizzie is in the city, he seemed very much gratified that we had come to see him.

New Years day and the day after we spent quietly at home, at least at home, not very quietly it is true, for we have been preparing for some Tableaux, which we are to have tonight. We have enjoyed contriving the dresses very much and we think that the Tableaux will be very pretty, they are entirely among ourselves, no one is invited except Miss Sallie, and Octavia Huling and the Judge, and they will be only spectators not actors; Miss Valeria and I are to be the dressing maids.

Friday — Amite,Jan’y 4th / ’61.

We had our tableaux last night, nearly all the scenes were very pretty, and would have been beautiful if we had had a stronger light upon them. Miss Mary, Gussie, Charlie and Emma were the actors, Miss Valeria and I the dressing maids, and Miss Sallie and Octavia Huling, Master Octave Byzantzine, their cousin, and Mr. Richardson (a brother of the Dr.) the spectators, besides the family. John and Angus criticized the scenes very freely; in one Gussie was dressed in an antique manner, standing alone, in a graceful, pensive attitude, the picture was really very pretty indeed; as the curtain drew up Miss Valeria said that is Louisa (the name of the picture) ’indeed’ said Angus ’that is Gussie" “Yes,” remarked John, “and Gussie has on false hair too” at this Miss Sallie Huling laughed loudly. I expected every moment to see Gussie smile, and was provoked with John and Angus for talking to, but she did not move a muscle until the curtain dropped and then poor Gussie! she ran into the room and gave way to her anger. Gussie is very impulsive, and they were really quite provoking to speak so when she looked so pretty, but boys will be boys, one can not change their thoughtless natures.

Miss Mary was alone in the last scene, she looked really beautiful, she will make a belle when she is grown, she is tall and (unconsciously) a little haughty in her expression, her complexion is very fair and sometimes enlivened by a peachlike bloom, her mouth is small and she has very full red lips, her eyes hazel with a kind of langour in them which is very charming, her eyebrows beautifully arched and of the same reddish golden color as her hair; altogether she is at times very pretty, and if she would only cultivate her mind she might be beautiful, as it is her greatest failing, indolence, is but too plainly expressed in her countenance. She is, (unlike me) very practical, has not much taste for reading of any kind, and cannot bear poetry; but really I had forgotten all about the tableaux, I blieve we were all very well pleased. Angus liked the last one so well that he actually said it was very pretty, I expect he admired the actress very well. Angus is a great admirer of the girls, he talks a great deal more about them than John, but his sentiments of gallantry are devoted to them as a class, he is not devoted to one more than another but pays compliments to all, old and young alike.

John, on the contrary, has devoted himself to one particular Goddess, but at the supper table tonight he made the very uncommon remark for disconsolate young men, that very few women are constant, that perhaps his fair lady has jilted him. Both the boys are very agreeable indeed, but I believe that I like Angus (the youngest) best, he is quicker than John, very frank, and exceedingly agreeable and quite witty in conversation.

John is very nice in his dress, always keeps his hair smooth and glossy, corrects the children if they do not speak grammatically, and makes a good many puns, he is very kind to drive us wherever we wish to go, and makes no objection to any of our arrangements, he is seventeen.

Oh, dear! what writing, but I have a good excuse. I wish I were an artist to portray the scene in this room a little while ago.

Miss Valeria, Miss Mary Gussie and I were all sitting round the fireplace in which is blazing a pine fire, Miss Valeria sitting in a rocking chair with her feet on the side of the mantel (not a graceful position, but nevertheless very comfortable) was writing her journal, I sitting down on the rug engaged in the same occupation and as my ink is pale and I write by firelight the characters are of course not very distinct. Gussie and Miss Mary were on the other side of the fire, Miss Mary sitting (in a not very erect posture) on the floor, and Gussie lying down with her head to the fire, both busily chrotcheting with the candle between them.

Miss Mary and Gussie have gone to bed now, but they did not go until they had made us laugh about fifteen minutes by their droll sayings.

Old Judge Huling was over here this evening, he asked me what sort of a man I wanted to marry, I was perfectly surprised and a little annoyed by the question, answered him politely but very vaguely, he then turned to Miss Mary and obtained more satisfaction from her; she expressed her likes and dislikes pretty plainly; the Judge told me I had a very good nose, a large nose and heavy eyebrows he says are sure signs of a fine mind. He has told me that twice, I expect he wants to console me for my ugliness, he said also that I was just about the right size. I wonder if he knows how I dislike my short stature.

Today was appointed as a day of fasting and prayer by the President, we all went to Church this morning and have not indulged in any great excitement either of mind or body but yet we have not kept a strict fast.

I must really stop I have sat doubled up so long that I feel all lame.

Amite, Saturday Jan’y 5th —

The week is now ended, and we are here still, I could stay two or three weeks longer and not be tired, I feel perfectly at home here, for I know that we are welcome guests. Father may come any night and I suppose he will wish to go on immediately, so that we hold ourselves in readiness to leave any time.

Today has been beautiful, the sun has shone out bright and clear all day. This evening we went down the Hotel to see Mrs. Grice and had a pleasant visit, on our way back we stopped to see Mrs. Stewart and found her very agreeable, but suffering from a headache.

Amite has increased in size since we left here, it is quite a little town, the Church is a very neat little edifice, has been plastered since we left, and the ladies are endeavoring to get a carpet, melodian and bell, they expect to obtain these soon.

Mrs. Grice told us that Mr. Williams had an elegant service of silver presented to him New Years eve by the employees of the road, it is said that he was so much surprised by the present that he could not make a speech in thanks, the service is said to have cost eleven hundred dollars. I was glad to hear that he was popular enough to receive such a present, but was astonished when I heard of it.

Mr. Ridgill returned home tonight, he has a very bad cold; he says that no mails have been received in the city for several days, and that all the news comes by telegraph, as the despatches are often contradictory they are not considered very reliable; it has been telegraphed and is considered true that a fort in Georgia near Savannah and one near Mobile Alabama have been taken by the troops of the respective states, various rumours are floating about regarding Charleston, the city (Charleston) is full of soldiers, troops from Georgia have tendered their services and been accepted. The confidence of the South Carolinians is unabated, my my sympathies are with them.

Amite, Monday Jan 7th / 61. —

Father came yesterday morning as we were at breakfast; he had been over the river twice since he left here, but Mother is still in Vicksburg at Mr. Horne’s.

Father had been walking so much and had been through so much fatigue that he was very stiff and lame, and looked Oh! so tired his eyes seemed as if they could not be kept open, Mrs. Ridgill had a room made ready for him, and Mr. Ridgill gave him a newspaper and then walked down to the depot to meet the train.

Father commenced reading the paper but soon fell asleep and slept for about an hour, when he woke up he consented to lie down and take a nap. This so refreshed him that after washing and shaving he looked like a different man; he left on the train Sunday night for New Orleans.

Miss Valeria, Miss Mary, Gussie, John, Angus and myself walked down with him as far as the Church, where we stopped, and heard part of a very good though not very polished Methodist sermon. We had a very pleasant walk, back, our conversation might perhaps have been too merry for the Sabbath but I think our mirth was harmless, it was only the natural manifestation of youth and high spirits; Angus walked in such a funny manner with his hands in his pockets and his overcoat hanging over his shoulders, and talked so goodnaturedly about his being affected by Dr. Richardson’s malady, a beating of the breast and therefore unable to walk straight, that we could not help laughing at this all the way. John, too contributed his share to our amusement by making some laughable criticisms on Angus and Gussie.

After we came upstairs I read aloud to Miss Valeria, a very interesting sermon delivered by the Rev. Mr. Vandyke in the first Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York, upon the subject of slavery. It was a very able discourse treating abolitionism on scriptural ground and only touching lightly upon Political subjects.

We expect to leave here Wednesday for Independence. Father intends to come up the road tomorrow morning and move Mother over the river Wednesday, that is, if it does not rain, we shall see him as he goes up. Mr. Ridgill left tonight.

It is eleven o’clock now and my feeling admonish me that it is time to retire. Tonight after John and Angus returned from the depot we all sat up a long time talking and laughing about our summer at Cohuttah. Miss Mary gave some very graphic accounts of our life there, and delivered them in such a peculiarly funny manner that she made us all laugh a great deal.

Monday, Jan’y 14th — Terry —

Just a week since I last wrote here. We went down to Independence Wednesday as we expected, John Ridgill put us on the cars, and in a few minutes the train stopped at Independence. Mr. Raoul was waiting for us, and with his assistance I was able to step from the car to the platform though I was so nervous I scarcely could stand. His little son Giffen drove us to the house, where we were met with great cordiality by Mrs. Raoul who introduced us to her daughter Florence, thirteen years old, and Mr. Raoul’s daughter Rosine, fifteen.

After removing our bonnets and cloaks Mrs. Raoul conducted us to the parlor and made us acquainted with her Mother, Mrs. Stanton, a remarkable old lady, so cheerful and intelligent in conversation, so kind and attentive to the wants of the whole family. Mr. Raoul says she is the youngest one in the house. They are altogether a remarkable family, they have three sets of children, Mr. Raoul’s, Mrs. Raoul’s and their mutual offspring, and they live together in perfect amity. Mrs. Raoul’s children call Mrs. Stanton Grandma, and are as fond of her as her own. Grandchildren. Our visit was very pleasant indeed.

One evening we walked over to Mr. Raoul’s mill and saw them sawing and planing plank and making cars, on our way back the sun was setting on the high green pines it made them perfectly beautiful. I felt as if I never wanted to live any where but in the pine woods, only I would wish it to be in a hilly country, lower Louisiana is so level.

We left Independence Saturday morning after many invitations to return, and pay them another visit, they very pressingly invited us to remain longer but I told them that Father expected me to come up Saturday and I could not remain. I was very glad that I came when I heard that Father had told Mr. Terry we were coming Saturday, how could I ever dissappoint my Father.

At Amite John came in to see us and brought a book and some clothing that we had left at Mrs. Ridgill’s; Miss Valeria did not come in the cars but she with Mrs. Stewart, Emma and Charley stood at Mrs. Stewart’s door and waved us a final adieu.

The conductor was so kind as to give me a delta to read and between reading, sleeping, and looking around at the varied characters in the car the day passed quickly away. I began to feel rather nervous as we approached Terry and I thought that perhaps the Captain might not be at the depot, but my apprehensions were set at rest by the sight of his handsome face and his warm welcome; Miss Ellen Eagan, a cousin of Mrs. Terry’s came with us from Crystal Springs. I was introduced to her by Captain Terry at the depot and we all rode to the house together. We found Jane Terry, the Captain’s eldest daughter, at home so that I have at last the pleasure of being acquainted with the “curly head” whom I have so often heard extolled by Father and Willie, she is a very pleasant, quite an intelligeny girl, has just recovered from a severe attack of typhoid fever, this was the reason of her return from school, the Typhoid fever prevailed as an epidemic at Science Hill Kentucky and some of the girls died, among these was one of Jane’s cousins.

I received a letter from Aunt Jane Saturday evening, she says that Mother and the rest of the family went over the river Wednesday as they expected, she said that Mr. Green came to the Hotel to bid them goodbye and said that he would come over to Louisiana when the road was finished; Aunt Jane said that they were all well but little John had been unwell with a bad cold. I am getting anxious to see them all, dear little Georgie how I shall rejoice to see his darling face.

We are enjoying ourselves very well, I believe Miss Mary is very well contented though she did not wish to come up here.

Yesterday and today the weather has been cloudy and unpleasant, it is not cold at all. This afternoon a relative of Capt. Terry’s, Mr. James Moore came to see us. he is as pleasant as the generality of young men, I have no great liking for any of them.

Terry, Friday, Jan’y 18th —

I expected to have been at “home” (strange word) by this time, but Father was unable to care for us Wednesday and wrote to Captain Terry that he must keep us two or three days longer, I do not know now when to expect him but should not be surprised to see him any day.

We had a little dance here Tuesday night, I enjoyed myself very much indeed. I dreaded it for some time but when I am obliged to go into company I enjoy myself as such as anybody. We only had four gentlemen and one girl, a cousin of Jane’s, little Willie Terry danced almost every set, he was so anxious to dance that he could not sit down at all, for myself I danced every set except four out of ten, I believe. I was not sorry when the time came for the gentlemen to retire although they were all very pleasant and three of them I liked very well.

I have taken up a new accomplishment lately, that of knitting stockings, I always have thought that it must be pleasant to knit, the needles shine so prettily as they glance quickly through the yarn which slips off smoothly from the fingers of an experienced knitter. I took up a scotking of Mrs. Terry’s the other day and asked her to show me how to knit it, I have now begun another and am so much fascinated with the work that I hate to put it down for a moment.

Jane, Miss Mary, Miss Ellen Eagan and I, spent the day out yesterday. We started off at about ten o’clock, Jane and Miss Mary in the buggy and Miss Ellen and I on horseback. My horse was a very gentle, pretty little grey pony, but he had not had a lady on his back for so long that it required a good deal of coaxing to get him to let me mount him, and it is so long since I rode a horse that I felt afraid of him nearly all the time.

At first we rode up to Mrs. Mim’s, about a mile and a half or two miles from here and spent about half an hour and then came back to Mrs. Burnett’s, where we spent the reminder of the day. Here I had the pleasure of meeting Captain Terry’s Father, a fine, young looking old gentleman, but in my opinion not so handsome as Captain Terry who resembles very much the portraits of the first great Napoleon.

We left Miss Ellen at Mrs. Burnett’s to spend the night, little Bobbie Terry went for her this morning but she has not yet returned. It rained quite hard last night, but the sun rose clear and bright this morning.

Octave Byzantzine stayed here last night, he came up to meet a young engineer who had appointed this as a rendevouz. This morning, speaking of the hardships of engineers Octave said he thought it was very good fun, I dare say it is — for him.

Lynhurst, Louisiana. Febuary 6th — 1861 —

As I have not written any here since we left Terry, not indeed since several days before our departurs, I shall have to take a retrospective glance before I come to the description of recent events and present circumstances.

We had another little dance on Saturday night at the Captain’s, it was rather a storm party, the Captain knew nothing about it until evening, the young gentlemen liked the first dance so much that they made up a party among themselves and sent word to Jane, through Mr. Moore, that they were coming up in the evening. It was the same number, and the same party that were there before, with the exception of one young man, we enjoyed ourselves very much, but as it was Saturday night we retired early.

Monday we heard that Pa was coming for us Wednesday, so we prepared to leave then.

Tuesday night the young men sent us word by the school children that they were coming up to serenade us. We all went to work and prepared hearts of Arbourvitae sawed on cards to throw out to them, as we had no flowers, and went to bed with the pleasing expectation of being waked up about midnight by sweet music ’neath our windows, but midnight passed without any music, and in the morning we had to console (?) us the humiliating reflection that we had prepared for a serenade and been dissappointed, one of the young men told me afterwards that they had but two E strings for their violin and when they arrived quite near the house, one of them snapped. They then put on the other, but the dampness of the air was so great that it broke too, then as their principal instrument was useless they had to return.

I forgot to state in its order that Miss Ellen Eagan left us Sunday to visit an Aunt residing three miles from the Terry’s.

Wednesday morning I packed our trunk put on my travelling dress, and waited for Father to come, at last the whistle blew, and soon after, we were called out to the piazza by the cry the buggy the buggy is coming, for some time we could not tell whether any one had come or not, but after a while it was certain that some gentleman was there, but the tall beaver hat certainly could not be Father’s, no, it was not. I was dissappointed beyond measure, nay I so far forgot my duty as to be almost angry when I recognized Mr. Horne, but I cleared my face as well as possible, and met him with a smile which I am afraid must have looked forced. I managed to enquire after to Father and the Hornes very well untill I learned that we were to remain nearly a week at their house, a week at Mr. Hornes! a week in Springfield! how could I bear it. My trunk would have to be unpacked, my washing would have to be given out, what vexations would I not have to endure, I could hardly keep my countenance straight. As soon as I could, I left the room, and gave way to my feelings in a good cry, after this I felt somewhat relieved, but still very sad, very much depressed and withal very much perplexed, for Captain Terry had asked me to stay and go to a little party at Mrs. Burnett’s that night, he said he would take me to Jackson the next morning, and we could go on to Vicksburg alone. I did not know what to do, Miss Mary wanted to stay and so did I but then I thought, “Mr. Horne has come down here for us by Father’s request, would he not be displeased if we did not go back with him, would not Father dislike it”, I debated for some time in my own mind and at last decided to go, after this I felt better for I felt that, however disagreeable it was, I was doing right. Jane and Carrie went down to the depot to see us off; I asked Jane to come up to Vicksburg and come home with us, she said she would if we could let her know when we would go, as it afterwards happened we could not.

We bade all goodbye, and left Terry looking very lonely and desolate through the drizzling rain. Mr. League (one of the party at our two dances) went with us the first ten miles, I was glad when he left the car, for though very pleasant he is one of those people towards whom I have an aversion.

We arrived at Vicksburg rather late and drove through the drizzling rain to the suburb called Springfield where Mr. Horne resides. Mrs. Horne and Lelia were sitting up for us, Miss Annie and Lamar in consequence of unusual fatigue the night before, had retired. After supper we glad to go to our room and to bed, Mrs. Horne gave me two letters, but I looked at the direction and knowing by that, that they were from Aunts Mary and Satira, I was two sleepy to read them, but reserved that pleasure untill morning.

Thursday I spent the morning in writing to Mother and Aunt Mary and lounging about the sitting room. I felt too weary to write in my journal. In the afternoon Miss Mary, Lamar and myself went down town to see Aunt Jane and to make some necessary purchases; Aunt Jane welcomed us warmly and pressed me to spend the night with her as Uncle Moses was on his work. I very willingly accepted her invitation and remained.

Friday Miss Mary and Lamar came down and we all dined at the hotel, in the afternoon we went up to prayers at the Church. Lelia and Howell Horne were baptized. After prayers we went to walk up on Fort hill, and did not get back until dark. While we were on the hill, a few flakes of snow fell and after dark it snowed so as to cover the ground. Just as I was about to drop into sleep that night I was aroused by steps ascending the stairs, soon my door opened and Mrs. Horne’s negroe woman thrust first her hand holding the candle and then her black face into the room. She had a note, or rather letter from Aunt Jane for me, at first I was alarmed but soon seeing that there was nothing requiring answer, I sent Aunt Mary down stairs, and laid down to peruse my letter at leisure. The most important thing it contained was that Mr. Green had been to see her after we left that he had enquired after us, expressed a wish that he had known I had been there the evening before, Aunt Jane asked him to call at Mr. Horne’s to see us, he declined, and here she said “I will tell you the rest when I see you” finally she told Mr. Green that her nieces would probably be down to see her the next morning, he said, as of course he must, that he would call and see them. She asked us to come down and see her in the morning.

Saturday morning Miss Mary and I went down to the hotel, the sun shone very brightly, the air was clear and cold, and the snow on the ground was so little that we had no difficulty in walking. The rest that Aunt Jane had to tell me, was that Mr. Green said he had never been invited to Mr. Horne’s and therefore did not wish to go there.

We had been at the hotel about an hour, when Mr. Horne called to tell me that the railroad was finished too Munroe and that Father would be in either Saturday or Sunday morning and would expect us to be ready to go to Munroe Sunday; my delight at hearing this news may be better imagined than described. I think, however, that I showed no more joy than was proper. Miss Mary and I were back to Mr. Horne’s to dinner, we did not see Mr. Green, he called after we left, he went down to New Orleans that evening.

Sunday morning after breakfast Father came, and soon we had bade them goodbye and were riding down to the ferry with him.

We came on the first train that ever ran through to Munroe, it was not the regular passenger train, but had some few of persons on board who were allowed to go as a favor. Mr. Horne came through, and when we arrived within twenty miles of Monroe, some gentlemen came on board who had come out to meet the train, they were John Rae and Mr. Bry, the latter is the owner of this place. I was introduced to them both. When we came to Munroe, we were met with cheers from the large crowd who had collected on each side of the track, they were composed of all classes, young and old, male and female, black and white, many of whom had never seen a locomotive before. Our engine was decorated with red, blue and white, streamers (although Louisiana no longer acknowledges the authority of the stars and stripes).

Father had brought our carriage along, and Willie met us at Munroe with a couple of mules so that we could come right on, our house is six miles west of Munroe.

We did not arrive here till nearly eight o’clock, the roads are so bad now that we had to come very slowly. When we arrived here George and John were asleep, but the rest of the family were waiting for us.

After a hearty supper which was very welcome, to us for I had not eaten anything but one biscuit since breakfast, we retired to bed and were soon wrapped in sound refreshing slumber.

The next day, Monday, I spent in looking about at our new residence and in walking down to Willie’s camp, which is a mile from here.

Tuesday I went to work to clean out our room the floor of which was covered with Mr. Bry’s library and papers, also divers broken chairs and desks, selfsealing cans, bottles, demijohns, and a great many seeds.

I had all these last mentioned articles carried out and then set myself seriously to a task, namely, classifying the books and arranging them upon shelves, for Mr. Bry told me that I might have the use of his library if I was willing to take care of it; the books were covered with long accumulated dust and were in the greatest confusion imaginable I worked until the sun went down and it was so dark I could not see, and then was reluctant to stop although I was very tired.

Mr. John Green the engineer on the railroad came to supper and spent the night here, I did not go out to supper, but saw him the next morning at breakfast.

Wednesday I went again to my room and by working hard finished arranging the books, and had my room scoured. Thursday I directed a servant about scouring a desk and the shelves and some other things, Thursday night Father came home.

Friday I did not do much of anything the weather was cloudy, cold and consequently disagreeable, and as my room has no glasses in it, but only think wooden shutters it is not very pleasant in very cold or rainy weather. Towards night a few large flakes of snow fell but it turned off into a slow freezing rain almost like sleet. Father was coming home on horseback from Munroe, and as he had no overcoat or blanket but only a thin robber coat over him, he was nearly frozen, he said never recollected having such a cold ride; some negroe men were coming along in carts with our furniture, and they suffered greatly, our trunk did not get here till Friday.

In the night we had a dreadful rain and it was unpleasant all day Saturday. Sunday we spent very quietly at home, Willie came to breakfast and spent the day with us. The weather was very pleasant, bright and clear but quite cold; we went out to walk and had a delightful walk, I think this country is very pretty indeed, it is very undulating with some quite high hills all thickly wooded with large pine and oak trees, the oaks are bare now, but the pines are beautiful in their dress of dark bright green. If the soil was only red clay, I could think myself back in dear old Georgia, this house is situated upon a hill. It is built of hewed logs, with the cracks stopped inside with plaster. The shutters are all solid wood painted lead color, but most of the windows have glass sashes, the house is quite large, and convenient and very warm and comfortable. I should be quite satisfied, if we were settled here, I feel more at home and more contented here than I have at any place since we left Oakland; the name of this place is Lynhurst.

Monday and yesterday I passed in unpacking my trunk, arranging my papers and writing materials in an old writing desk I found here (mine is not coming at present) and sewing.

Yesterday (Tuesday) evening Mother and I went to see some neighbors of ours named Adams who live about a quarter of a mile from here by the road, their house is in sight across the fields, they are very pleasant, plain people, old Mr. Adams and his wife are quite aged, they have a married son and a married daughter living near them, also an unmarried son.

Father has been away from home since Monday morning, an express came for him Sunday night saying that two of the bridges were broken and asking him to come and have them mended; the regular trains are not running Monroe yet, Father is having a turn table made at Monroe.

There is to be a meeting of the stockholders of this road on the 15th of this month, Uncle David and Uncle Dole will be here in all probability and may bring their wives, I hope they will. I am now very tired of writing, having written a long letter to Aunt Satira this morning and must really put up my pen. I have taken a dreadful cold, and feel very badly. Mother, Miss Mary and Lory are going to Willie’s camp this evening, I should like to go but do not feel able, this cold unfits me for almost everything.

I do not know how I could write so long as I have, but I have been feeling ever since my trunk came that I ought to write up my journal, and now that it is done I feel very much relieved in mind. —

Lynhurst. Tuesday Feb’y 12th.

The time has passed very quietly since I wrote here last, but the days have been so fully and pleasantly occupied that I have not been lonely, nor has the time seemed long to me.

We have moved into our room, and now as I look around upon it, the rough white-washed walls and neat but simple furniture, lighted up by the cheerful light of a wood fire, it looks very comfortable indeed.

Father came in the other morning after I had arranged my things, and said “ah, you have made your little room look very cheerful and cozy”, and Mother said I had arranged it very neatly indeed, sweet praise, more delightful to me than any other.

Saturday night Father had the piano brought and put it up, it is very pleasant to have it. I did not know how much company it was until I was without it. I recommenced giving Eva lessons yesterday, she improves very well, I feel happy to think that I am able to contribute to her improvement. I persuaded Miss Mary to begin a journal today, she is sadly deficient in both composition and spelling, and I know by experience that daily journal writing is a great help to learning both.

Father left us yesterday to go to Vicksburg, he expects to return tomorrow.

Yesterday evening Mother, Lory, George, Rose with the baby, and myself all took a ride in the cart up to Mrs. Young’s, the doctor’s wife. We had a very funny time riding there, and back, the mule is one which is so lazy that Willie could not work it, and he gave it to Uncle Jim to haul wood with. Uncle Jim had to beat it almost every step, and between the jolts caused by the roughness of the road and Uncle Jim’s funny remarks we had a very merry time.

I wish we had this house for a longer time, it is so pleasant out here, but Mr. Bry says we cannot have it longer than June, I dare say it is all for the best however, though we cannot see it now.

But I must close my book and retire, for it is rather late and Miss Mary has asked me several times if I were not almost done. —

Saturday, Feb’y 16th —

Father came, as he had expected Wednesday night, but had to return to Vicksburg early the next morning, so as to present at the meeting, which commenced yesterday. Father is to write us word whether any one of our relatives have come from Georgia to attend it. Father brought us some newspapers from which we learned that Jeff. Davis of Mississippi and Alexander Stephens of Georgia have been elected President and vice president of the Southern confederacy, formed of all the seceding states. I had almost written the United States, how sad to think that we are united no longer, that we are no more natives of one common country, necessary as is the separation how can we think of it without grief. I am glad that there has been a good choice of rulers made, both the president and vice president are said to be wise, upright and moderate men, all southerners know of their eloquence and experience in public life.

Thursday we were all a great deal surprised to receive a visitor who had passed out of my mind, at least, so perfectly that I regarded somewhat in the light of a stranger dropped from the clouds, though this was owing more to the suddenness of his appearance than to any thing etherial about his person or to speak more particularly, about his mind either; this unexpected guest was no less a personage than Mr. Barron an old acquaintance of Father’s who in former days, which I can dimly recollect, was very intimate in the family, but who has for some time past been separated from us by the force of circumstances; slightly vexatious as the visit was to me (for I had planned to read Ivanhoe that evening and could not be satisfied at being interrupted by one who is no favorite of mine) we yet learned something about former acquaintances, he told us of Mr. Williams, of his dissipation, his neglect of business and his decline in the confidence of his employers, sad facts but I fear only too true.

Mr. Barron also spoke of some others whom we used to know slightly when we were in Amite.

Thursday, Feb’y 21st —

I have quite a number of items for today’s journal, although I have put off writing so long that I have not a great deal of time to devote to it. Between sewing (of which I do not do a great quantity) practising, reading, and painting, my days fly away very fast indeed, and after all I fear that I waste some time, the very fear of not improving it all makes me waste some little scraps.

Father returned on Monday, neither of my Uncles from Georgia came with him, but in their stead he brought Uncle Moses and the two Mr. Grants members of “Fannin, Grant & Co.” the last two from Georgia, the conversation was principally upon railroad matters. Father has not yet determined whether to remain here or not, I do not think he will remain, perhaps in a few months a new era in our lives may begin, whatever comes I will try to place confidence in that supreme power which has hitherto so kindly watched over us.

They all left early in the morning, and Georgie and I went as far as Munroe with them, we had a very pleasant ride, I was interested during the ride thither by the conversation, which was principally upon grading, not a very interesting topic one would think, but I was pleased to observe how geology and and the science of mathematics were made to blend together, and to serve a most practical and useful end.

Father went to the Boeuf river to attend to the repairing of a bridge, last night he came home lame and walking with a crutch. He fell from the bridge, by the carelessness of one of his assistants, and very narrowly escaped an instant and terrible death, as it was, he caught upon a timber and escaped with a severe sprain in his heel. This is another signal mercy from our Father in Heaven. Father left again this morning to meet the first regular passenger train from Vicksburg to Munroe.

I must go now and read some, I am reading the Waverly novels aloud, I have only read Ivanhoe, and an going to commence Rob Roy today.

Friday, Feb’y 22nd. —

Mother and Loring went to Monroe today to bring Father home in the carriage, as it hurts his foot to ride on horseback. When the carriage drove up I was transfixed with astonishment, for there, reclining upon the cushions, pale and languid as it is possible for him to look I saw Uncle Dole, after having given up all hope of seeing them this winter. It was indeed a joyful surprise, Uncle Moses was with him, but he had left Aunt Lizzie in Georgia. I was very much dissappointed that he did not bring her, I wish so much to see her.

Uncle Dole has not been well for the last few days, and looks badly, he says that his nerves have not recovered their tone since he had the typhoid fever; his manner is (perhaps I may only imagine it) a little absent, he is as kind as possible to me.

Father did not come home, he remained in Monroe with the members of “Fannin, Grant & Company” who have adjourned to that place. I am afraid that Father is having much trouble with the many unreasonable members. Uncle Dole says that Uncle David and his family yet think of coming out, but I am afraid they will not come, Uncle Dole says the times are very hard in Georgia, and maybe they do not feel able to come out.

Wednesday Feb’y 27th /

Father came home Friday night, very unexpectedly to us all, he did arrive until after we had retired. Fannin, Grant & Co. have sold out to the railroad company who take possession at the road next month. Mr. Horne’s office as superintendent has of course expired, with the firm by which he was employed, that office will probably be tendered to Father and it is not likely that he will refuse it, the new era which I prophesied is drawing very near, we will enter upon it at the time when our country enters upon hers, when the infant confederacy follows out self sustained, the destiny which she entered in common with her sister states.

Sunday we spent very quietly at home, hearing for a great part of the day Father’s proposals as to our future, and his conversation with Uncles Moses and Dole upon business affairs. Father’s foot is a great deal better he can now wear his boot and walk almost as well as ever.

Father and Uncles M. and D. went away Monday morning, Uncle Dole went to Georgia, Father and Uncle Moses accompanied him as far as Vicksburg.

The weather continues mild and pleasant, we had a little rain Tuesday night. I must go now, although I do not feel very much inclined, to Mrs. Adams, to meet Mother.

Friday, March 1st —

The first day of Spring! and worthy indeed is this delightful day to bear the name, the air soft and balmy seems to woo her to bestow her leaves and buds upon us, while the birds all sing a merry welcome, yea, Spring, bright joyous, beautiful Spring is again with us, how happy I feel to think we shall soon luxuriate in her beautiful flowers, even as we now rejoice in her warm air and gentle breezes. As I sit here I can almost fancy that through the song of the birds I hear her joyous voice

I come, I come ye have called me long
I come o’er the mountains with light and song,
Ye may trace my steps o’er the wakening Earth
By the winds which tell of the violet’s birth
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

I passed through the south and the chestnut flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest bowers
And the ancient graves and the fallen fanes
Are veiled with wreathes on Italian plains
But it is not for me in my hour of bloom
To speak of the ruin or the tomb.

I have looked o’er the hills of the stormy north
And the Larch has hung all it’s tassels forth
And the fisher is out on the stormy sea
And the reindeer bounds through the pastures free
And the pine has a fringe of softer green
And the moss looks bright where my step hath been.

I have sent through the woodpaths a glowing sigh
And called out each voice of the deep blue sky
From the night bird’s lay in the starry time
In the groves of the soft hesperian clime,
To the swan’s wild note by the Iceland lakes
When the dark fir branch into verdure breaks.

Tuesday, March 5th —

Saturday night Father, Uncle Moses and Aunt Jane came, Pa had to send after the carriage, so that they did not get here until after nine o’clock. I was very tired, and became quite sleepy before they arrived; Father stayed at home Sunday but was very much fatigued and slept nearly all the time, he left Monday morning, Uncle Moses left Sunday evening. I really do not know why I am writing, for I have nothing particular to say; I was waiting for Aunt Jane to get ready for a walk, and thought I would note down her arrival.

The weather is cooler today, the wind is quite sharp; yet the bright green grass which is just springing up in some places and the oak blossoms which now cover the trees, remind us that Spring in here.

Sunday, March 17th —

Aunt Jane left us Thursday, after having paid us a visit of nearly two weeks, she and Uncle Moses expect to go to Georgia soon. While she was here we took some long walks in the woods; it is now delightful to walk out, vegetation is bursting into life and beauty on every side, the ground is almost literally carpeted with violets, while the numbers of tiny pink bells or the huckelberry, and the wreaths of yellow jasmine which hang from the shrubs here and there form an agreeable variety among the more humble flowers, the dogwood which is now in full bloom and whiting the woods, in this vicinity. The purple hued redbud, and the graceful crimson flowers of the maple variegate the forest which is just beginning to burst the fetters of winter; already the bright green leaves of the gum peep out from the brown buds, and the tall oaks having shed their flowers are putting out leaves, but in all this beauty, the noble pine, which has shaken it’s shining green branches amid the storms of winter and now rejoices in the soft gales of spring is ever to me an attractive object. I love to look upon it and associate it with all that is beautiful and noble in life, all that is pure in friendship, with the courage and constancy which in the storms of adversity or the tropical sun of unequaled prosperity ever remains fresh and green, and when adversity has past away and joy comes again, fails not in the pleasure of its friends to put forth fresh buds, and win the smiles of cheerfulness and harmless gayety to enliven and soften the graver shades of firm courage.

Truly what is life without affection, and yet when we survey life, when we recollect how our short pilgrimage is full of fruitless cares and idle sorrows, life seems as a fitful dream, until it is again dignified by the thought that God has placed us here to prepare ourselves for heaven; and when we reflect that our little cares and sorrows even the very least of them were deemed worthy of the endurance of our God, and there is a Christ who hath died for sinners. truly life loses its insignificance and becomes grand when studied by the light of Calvary.

Whenever I for a moment lose sight of the bible and of religion, my mind becomes involved in mazy labyrinths of doubt ’till I almost question the fact of my existence and wonder if I am not one of the fabled creations of ancient days, and I can conceive of no greater agony than that feeling that one is without God in the world, cut loose from the idea of a Creator upon what can the soul anchor itself? having rejected the first idea of nature, what shall we accept, where or in whom shall we place confidence, shall we believe the conceptions of minds, or the inspirations of souls which are subject to dissolution and final death? without Faith and confidence in something life is a desert and the grave is a terrible doom, the end of life, the termination of a destiny, the quenching of a human soul, which existed only to suffer and if not to suffer became degraded to a level with the body.

Why should that be thought evil which is our only true good? why should an affectionate parent wish to see a child forgetful of its highest earthly, its only heavenly good, and doom it to fear the terrors of a God whose only attribute is justice and whose favour can be obtained only by performances, the very suggestion of which excites despair by proving their impossibility?

Wednesday, March 20th —

Father has been here ever since Saturday until this evening, when he left for Vicksburg. I said he has been here, I should have added he has spent his nights here, for he leaves after breakfast in the morning and does not return until sunset, or sometimes dark in the evening.

The foot which Father sprained by falling from the bridge is now nearly well, but while he was at Independence last week a heavy piece of iron fell upon the other one, and hurt it badly. When he returned home it was very much swelled, but after it had subsided a little he wore his boot one day and made it worse, he walks with difficulty and much pain, but nothing can detain him from business, he went away this afternoon with an old slipper on, and a piece of flannel drawn over his ankle.

Father is now Superintendent of the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Texas railroad, the company have concluded to go on with the construction of the road, and Uncle Moses has decided to build the bridge over the Ouachita for them.

Father has I think determined to build out here, we all went this morning to look at a building site on a hill near Dr. Young’s residence, and owned by him, if Father can afford it and is willing to do it, there is nothing which I desire more. I do so want a home.

I believe I have not mentioned that Mother answered an advertisement for a situation as a Teacher, she received a letter from the lady Saturday, and was very well pleased with it. The lady has been teaching twenty years, teaches English, French, drawing, painting, music and embroidery, in her own words endeavors to fit her pupils to discharge the duties of daughter, wife or Mother; she is a Virginian, an Episcopalian, and finally, a maiden lady without relatives. She desires more than anything else a comfortable home and likes the country, her salary is moderate, six hundred dollars a year.

Mother wrote a letter in reply, stating our unsettled situation, but expressing her desire to obtain her services and a readiness for further correspondence if the lady should be willing to consider the subject favourably towards us. Mother composed and wrote the letter, Father read it, noted his objections, and ended by revising it and rendering it more definite and business like, amd finally I copied his revised edition, taking care to smooth over the harsher or more abrupt periods to the best of my ability and softening the tone without altering the text, or in other words, converting it again into a woman’s letter as Father said when he read my copy, which was the one sent.

Uncle Moses spent last night with us, he and Willie have bought an old mill house and engine and are going to saw the timber for the bridge in partnership.

Wednesday March 27th —

Father returned from Vicksburg Friday, and has not been away, except to Monroe since.

Last night General Wyrick and Mr. Mitchell from Georgia, came out to see us, the return to Vicksburg this evening and I think Father intends to go with them.

I received a letter from Miss Valeria a few days ago, she has a new brother, at whose advent she is very much rejoiced; her letter was very interesting, and if it had not been, I was so glad to hear from her that I should have imagined it interesting. I also received a letter from Miss Lou Garrett by the same mail, Dr. Young tells me that Mrs. Garrett wrote him that Charlie, her second son, had stabbed a boy dangerously; Miss Lou did not mention it probably she did not know it, when she wrote. I am indeed sorry for Mrs. Garrett, her misfortunes have been so many, and this is the greatest of all.

This is a delightful day, we had a heavy rain yesterday morning, and the trees are leaving out fast. We all walked up to Dr. Young’s this morning, and stayed a few minutes, on the way we gathered some beautiful dogwood flowers, almost dazzling in their whiteness.

I have been reading Redgauntlet this morning, I am much interested in it, the engraving of “Greenmantle” in my Waverly gallery is very much like my friend Miss Valeria, & I fancy that their characters resemble each other somewhat.

I have read Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Pirate, Peveril of the Peak, and the black dwarf all aloud; we select the novels from the engravings, reading about our favorite heroines first, of course, of the pictures I think Alice Bridgenorth is the most beautiful, though she does not play so conspicuous a part as her face entitles her to.

Uncle Moses was at Willie’s camp yesterday but did not come up here, he and Willie are very busy about their mill.

Monday, April 1st / 1861 —

Father returned home Friday night in a storm of wind and hail, the hailstones were very large but fortunately the shower was short, and did not damage the fruit at all.

Spring has now ascended her leafy throne and her sway is complete, the little blue violets are fast disappearing, and all the trees have leaved out almost entirely.

Mr. John Green the engineer of this road was here Saturday night and part of Sunday morning, all the time I found myself making, not perhaps comparisons, but comparing him with Mr. Robt. or as we say, little Mr. Green, and I think nearly always, excepting of course the point of stature, in the favor of the latter. I think Mr. John Green not quite so polite, certainly not so polished as Mr. Robt. but more talkative and easier to become acquainted with. Altogether the taller Mr. Green has a lighter mind and perhaps less sterling qualities. Father thinks them both excellent persons and to Father’s opinion I nearly always lean.

Sunday afternoon we walked up to our place, which is now bought, and then to Dr. Young’s. It is so delightful to have a home in such near prospect, I am thinking about it nearly all the time, they commenced clearing out the undergrowth this morning. Father, Willie, Miss Mary, Lory and I went up there and spent about half an hour in looking at them and directing them how to cut. Willie seven or eight hands there, and the clearing will soon be completed, Father has drawn the plan of the house, it is to be all on one story; a hollow square with a court in the centre and piazzas all round, inside and out, the number of rooms is twenty, counting in dressing rooms bath rooms Storeroom, pantry, and so forth. Father has projected innumerable improvements and beauties to be placed on our two hills, I hope they will be realized.

Father left us for Vicksburg this afternoon. We are expecting Aunt Jane tonight.

Wednesday April 10th /’61 —

Aunt Jane has been here nearly two weeks and will probably remain two more. Since I wrote last, we have had a great deal of rain. Willie went to Monroe a week ago today with a team to haul out the boiler for their mill, it commenced raining Wednesday night, rained Thursday, and poured down Thursday night, in consequence of this the creeks all overflowed their banks, bridges were reported swept away, and the mud was perfectly apalling, poor Willie got wet and cold, could not move the boiler more than a mile in two days and thought that he would never attempt to haul a steam boiler again; Pa was away at Vicksburg, Uncle Moses at Monroe, and we sat here and heard the rain, and suffered in think — how they must suffer. Friday the rain “held up” a little right after breakfast, Mother went over to Mrs. Adams to help them quilt, and Aunt Jane and I, accompanied by Loring and Eva went down to Steep bayou, which is just a few steps from here to see how the water had risen, we found a cotton waggon and the stage at the bridge in a perfect quondary, the first bridge was not overflowed, but all the low land around it was inundated, the further bridge, for the bayou there doubles round and makes an I island was reported to be swept away, at length the stage driver plunged in and we, seeing the rain coming, hurried back into the house, all day the rain poured down without intermission though it lightened a very little towards evening.

We were sitting down quietly after dinner, I reading Waverly and Miss Mary and Aunt Jane listening, when we heard a familiar voice holloa Whoa! we jumped, ran out to the door and there was Father, dripping wet, he had ridden all the way from Monroe in the rain. He went to the fire and we left him to change his clothes, hardly had we got out when Mrs. Adams’ buggy drove up with Mother, while she was getting out, the galloping of horses hoofs was heard and turning round we beheld Willie, urging Mollie to her greatest speed, dressed in a thin pair of summer pants and without a coat. He dashed into the house and almost his first sentence after saluting us was “Sadie, I have lost your letters”; they were some which I had sent to be mailed. I was too glad to see Willie back in safety to care anything about my letters.

Saturday and Sunday Father remained at home, we have had no rain since Friday until this morning. Yesterday we had all just set out to visit our place before Father went in to Monroe, we had passed out the gate and were walking up the road when we met Mr. Raoul, we were all perfectly astonished but very much pleased to see him, he said that he had come up to Vicksburg intending to go out to Meridian (on the Southern road) with Mr. Smedes and Mr. Green, but that Mr. Smedes had put it off until Friday, and as he had a spare day, he concluded to come out and see us. He returned to the house with us and took some breakfast, and then we all walked up to the place. Mr. Raoul thought it a beautiful situation for a house. He and Father both went to Vicksburg this morning.

I think this will be a real rainy day, it commenced before breakfast and has continued ever since. I do not mind it so much now as Willie has brought the boiler nearly to the mill, but I would rather it would not rain until he had it all the way.

Thursday, April 11th —

Ah, me! Shall I ever finish recording the accidents of this unhappy year; poor Willie is the sufferer this time, he has cut his foot, not dangerously to be sure but seriously enough to prevent his walking for two or three days. He was driving a plank under the waggon wheel yesterday afternoon, with the eye of an axe when the helve broke, the axe flew off upon a plank and then rebounding cut through his boat and wounded his foot near the joint of the great toe, cutting one or two small arteries. He immediately mounted a mule and came home, when he arrived his foot had bled nearly a quart, and was still bleeding profusely, his whole boot and the clothes which he had wrapped around were full of clotted blood.

Mother immediately sent for Dr. White, who arrived in a few minutes, stopped the blood and bound up the foot, it is doing very well now, but Willie is so restless and anxious to attend to his business that we can scarcely keep him still. The boiler is at last at the mill, after having been nine days on the way.

I am not very well, all day yesterday, that is after 10 o’clock, I was confined to the couch with a dreadful headache. Uncle Moses came this morning; we expect Father this evening. I must go now and the papers Uncle Moses brought, he says we are to have war.

Thursday, April 18th /61 —

I am afraid war is inevitable, Ft. Sumter is ours by surrender, Ft. Pickens has been reinforced and was to be attacked on the 15th. The President of the United States has issued a proclamation which may be considered a virtual declaration of war, and which must irritate the south, he refuses to recognise the claim of the Southern confederacy to a place in the family of nations, but considers secession rebellion and commands all persons forming this ’’combination” to disperse and regain their position as peaceful citizens of the United States in twenty days. He says that the rights and property of all peaceful citizens shall be respected, this proclamation was issued before the Charleston guns had compelled the surrender of Ft. Sumter, since then, from the tenor of the dispatches we may suppose that Lincoln has wavered a little; Oh! how melancholy, how melancholy is the state of our country, never since the death of Cain was such unnatural, uncalled for war; where is the reason of the North fled, she has utterly withdrawn her light, what do they purpose? What benefits can they have in view that they will introduce all the horrors of civil war into our country, think they, that they can compel the South into a Union which they have so perfidiously disregarded, Oh! rather will every man, woman, and child perish upon the soil that gave them birth and from which they draw their sustenance rather than call down the curses of our free Forefathers upon the degenerate race who could stoop to ask admittance again intoo a Union of name when there is hatred and treachery in the hearts of those with whom we have been United.

My heart shrinks and all my bravery seems to fly when I think of what may come upon us, but we are in the right, and he who ruleth the Earth and who is King however much the people rage together, he will protect us. He protected our Forefathers, who in the first revolution, a little band of Patriots dared to withstand the hordes which Englishmen sent to subdue them, and though our enemies are greater in number and in resources than we, we have truth on our side and truth must prevail.

Recruiting officers are all around the country, it is humbling to see them reeling with intoxication, and urging with profane tongues the cause of liberty and independence, yet these mean instruments must be tolerated for the great end which we have in view. Mother’s half brother, Horace Holton, is serving at Ft. Morgan.

Father went to New Orleans Tuesday, he will not return until Saturday night. Mr. John Green spent the day here Sunday, and took dinner with us on Tuesday.

The cleaning is still going on up at our place, Willie’s negro men are getting out sills; The place looks more beautiful to me every time I go up there, which is about once every two day.

Sunday, April 21st —

Father returned last night, he is looking very well, but is not so bouyant as when he went down; truly it is a blessing to be allowed to spend our life in those quiet shades, especially during such troublous times as these, bitter indeed must be that spirit which away from the haunts of men with the never ceasing hymn of the forest swelling, and softening around, is not soothed out of all but the rememberance of sorrow, how the hush of the Sabbath has fallen on everything, even the birds sing in subdued strains so as not to interrupt the beautiful harmony which the wind makes in the tops of these lofty trees; war with all its unutterable horrors is half forgot as I sit quietly in my little room, and my heart swells with thankfullness for our blessings, not the less intense because it is subdued by the thought that God stands this day the God of battles and the dispenser of justice, and that our only reliance is upon him; in these quiet moments when Faith triumphs over unbelief I can truly say “thy will be done Oh Lord”, I feel that God rules justly and mercifully.

A very sorrowful accident happened yesterday to a man who was getting out timber for Uncle Moses, a large limb lodged in a tree, and fell upon this man, as he was walking under it, crushing the bones in shoulder and injuring his head so severely that he died in less than an hour. Willie and Uncle Moses have gone to see him buried this morning, they say he is a lone man, without friends or relatives to care for him; but a few short months ago Willie himself narrowly escaped a death so sudden and so painful, can he ever cease to thank God for his goodness?

Virginia has seceded, General Scott has resigned his position as commander in chief of the United States Army and tendered his services to Virginia (his native state). Tennessee has offered us troops, the requirements of President Davis have been fully met by the Confederate States; our people have determined to fight to the last and lastly we have right and Liberty on our side, if war must come we are prepared to meet it. Father says if he were a younger man he would have been among the first to offer his services to the government, as it is, if the North prosecutes her madness, so far as to enter our country, of course he will enroll; who knows what may be before us, but whatever comes, it is woman’s lot to wait and pray; if I were a man — but I am not; my spirit of ten makes me chafe at the regulations which it is right a woman should submit to and I will not encourage it by giving way to vain wishes and vauntings “if I were a man".

Friday April 26th —

This is one of my dark days, one in which I feel the the burden of humanity pressing too heavily to be borne; the future looks threatening, the present is clouded with doubt, and uncertainty; our country is in turmoil and danger, and our family seems like a ship floating upon a troubled sea, with no particular destination, no particular interest in any thing, only to keep afloat. I know I am doing wrong, I know I am murmuring when I should be thanking God for his blessings to us, for are we not fed and clothed and sheltered safely, are not we an unbroken household band, Mother, Father brothers and sisters all are here; but oh I am so weak so wicked, I struggle against it but cannot overcome; when when shall I learn to trust Providence, when shall I cease to care about the disappointments of this world.

Father returned in safety last night, there is no news, except that General Scott has not resigned, nor does he intend to.

Father went to Monroe this morning. The Mississippi is rising, great fears are entertained of an overflow.

Friday, May 10th —

It is quite a long time since I have written here, not because I have been very busy, not because I have been sick as my last entry makes it appear probable, only I have not felt like it, and then I might as well not write anything as such entries as my last few, thoughts and reflections indeed, they seem very sensible when I am writing them, but when I look over them afterwards I do not know whether to laugh or blush, but I must be careful not to go on with a page full of them now, for Uncle Jim is going up to the place and I told him to call me when he was ready. I have spent the last weeks rather, taking long walks in the woods, painting a little, sewing a little, and talking a good deal.

Well! I have been to the place and returned, Miss Mary and I, just in time to escape the dark; and after resting and brushing my hair, for supper I sit down to write a little.

On our way up to the place I saw Mrs. Reynolds out before the door milking and stopped to speak to her, she told me some news, Carrie Young, the doctor’s eldest daughter, came home with him night before last, she is six months older than I am and was to have graduated at Nashville, Tenn. next month, her Mother spent the day here Wednesday and said she did not expect her until the last of June, her coming was therefore very unexpected.

Father went to Vicksburg Tuesday, we expect him back tonight; Uncle Moses was there yesterday, he says that they are afraid that the levees are broken up above, the river is rising more slowly and they do not apprehend an overflow.

Our house is begun, or at least the carpenter is engaged, the spot cleared and staked and a shelter erected to work under, we are only to have three rooms this summer, one a future school room, which is to be larger and more finished than the other two, which are to be moved if Father decides to remain and erect a house upon the place; we have to move from here, by the first of next month, Father tried to get our time extended but could not, and a few days since a lady told Mother that Mrs. Bry sent her word she should be out here the first of June and wanted her house.

Uncle Moses’ and Willie’s mill has commenced sawing.

Aunt Jane has been sick for the last ten days, she suffers much, but is not dangerous.

Mr. Elbridge Pierce came out to the mill Wednesday, he is to help Willie; he is not very well now, having been sick with chills for some time.

Tuesday, May 14th —

Father has staid at home three whole days, that is, he has not been anywhere except to the mill and up to the place, Oh it will be so hard to have him go away again, he says he must go to New Orleans either this evening or tomorrow. I will begin and give the record of the days since Friday: Saturday afternoon I went up to Mrs. Young’s to see her daughter Carrie, whom I found very pleasant, although I had a slight feeling that my manners might seem a little brusque by the side of the tall, sedate boarding school young lady, who being just from school has not had time to settle into our country ways. She is quite tall and slender with a small face and features, dark eyes and hair and a very good complexion with no freckles; what a contrast to me, short, thick, square faced and large featured, grey eyes, reddish yellow hair and a complexion once fair but now, between tan and freckles almost brown, I do not mind all the rest, but as I looked at Carrie I said to myself as I have often said before, “if I was only tall".

Father came up to Dr. Young’s and walked home with me, Dr. and Mrs. Young and their daughter came as far as our place where we stopped to see how the builders were getting on, they have erected the frame of an out house which we are to occupy at first, but which is afterwards to serve as kitchens and servant’s rooms while we live at the “school house".

Sunday we were as usual all together, with the addition of some visitors, Mr. Pierce came up with Wilhe in the morning and stayed some time, though he could not remain to dinner on account of an engagement in Monroe; he had just gone, and Father and I had come in here, he to look over some papers and I to read the morning service when some one came to the door and said “Mr. John Green has come”, how provoking! was the first exclamation which sprang to my lips, but I checked it, and after I had finished my reading, followed Father out on the piazza.

Mr. Green has joined a company in Madison County of this state, he is a private, the company is called the Madison Infantry; his conversation was upon the subject of Soldiers and Soldiering generally, and was on that account interesting to me; he left some time after dinner.

Late in the afternoon, Miss Bry with a young friend called to see us, they had been spending the day with Mrs. Adams; their call was short and on both sides a very little constrained.

Yesterday morning, Father took us all down to the mill in the carriage, one of the springs of which was broken, and which Father spent several hours in mending, his trade is that of a Blacksmith and though he has had no practice for many years he has not forgotten how to shoe a horse or weld a piece of iron. I spent the day in watching Father, looking after the children and sitting in the mill observing their motions, before we left they commenced to saw, and Miss Mary and I amused ourselves very much watching their operations.

Uncle Moses was the only one who really understood what was to be done and it was really laughable to see him run from the boiler to the engine, then to the saw, then to the end of the log, where an inexperienced negro was turning the wrong way, then up stairs to look at the cistern; every little while vociferating orders in no very mild tone of voice, Mr. Pierce stood attending to the engine, Willie working alternately at the saw and the log. The sawyer, a deliberate ignorant man, looking on, as if he was astonished out of his knowledge by Uncle Moses rapid movements, and last of all the negroes looking very curious and trying to do their best, though they were constantly grinning at the novelty of a steam saw mill; a few days will get them in better discipline and then we may find something to admire as well as to amuse.

We came home in time to go up to the place and see what was doing. Father has a carpenter, two white men and a negroe up there at work on our “shanty”.

Aunt Jane has very sick today, I was quite alarmed this evening; for Mother went up to see Mrs. Axley (our carpenter’s wife) whose sister’s child is dead, and I did not know what I should do if she were to be siezed with one of those hysteric or fainting fits which she has had since her illness. I have interrupted my writing often to go to her and have just come away, she is in bed with a high fever, probably from her exertions in vomiting.

Father has been at the mill all day it is time he was returning now. We had a heavy rain last night and it has been quite cool all day, we had a little fire this morning.

Tuesday, May 21st —

Aunt Jane has gone to Monroe, she left Saturday in the carriage and bore the journey very well, Eva met Uncle Moses yesterday and he said that Aunt Jane was just as sick as she was here.

Father returned from New Orleans Sunday night, and remained at home Yesterday, he expects to leave for Vicksburg today, but John was quite sick last night and he may not go, we were afraid last night that John had the Cholera Infantum, but he is a little better this morning.

Mother, Father and I went up to the place yesterday evening and from thence to Dr. Young’s, we rode home in the “big waggon.”

The place is getting to look more cultivated, the shed for us is not half done yet, and those for the negroes not commenced, and we have only ten days more in this house!

I received a letter from Miss Lou Garrett last night, she invited me to come down to Handsboro and see her, quite an impossibility.

It is quite cool this morning, but was oppressively warm yesterday and the day before.

Friday, May 31st /61. —

The last day of the month, a month passed with but little improvement to me, I have idled away too much time which might have been improved. Mr. and Mrs. Horne, Leila and Howell came to see us Monday night, and after a very pleasant visit, as far as we were concerned, left yesterday afternoon.

Father has gone to Chatanooga to attend a railroad convention, he will probably go to Savannah and will be gone two weeks, a long time, and which it saddens me to think must be passed without him, he left yesterday afternoon with the Horne’s, Mother accompanied them to Monroe, and visited Aunt Jane who, Mother thinks, is looking very well indeed.

Mr. Axley (Father’s carpenter) has been sick for a week. Father has engaged another carpenter who will begin work tomorrow. Major Bry has allowed us to remain here until the 15th of June.

Tuesday, June 4th.

Willie is not well, he was taken with a very sore tongue Saturday afternoon, went to Dr. White, who gave him a wash and some pills, his a little tongue is a little better, but is still very painful indeed.

The new carpenter has gone to work and our “shanty” seems in a fair way of building after all, Mother has undertaken to board the carpenter, he is a Yankee, but has been South five years and now classes himself with the Southerners.

We had a delightful rain yesterday, it came just in time, for the gardens were quite dry and the roads very dusty. I am writing before breakfast having risen at half past five to be ready for the early breakfast which Mother has on the carpenter’s account.

The morning is delightful, everything looks so cheerful, gilded by the morning sunlight, the birds too are singing very sweetly.

Afternoon — Mr. John Green has just left, he came to bid us goodbye his company leaves Saturday or Monday, Captain George Wardell.

Father sent Mother a letter by Mr. Green, saying that there is a rumour that invasion is threatened on the North of Arkansas, and that if this rumour is true Willie must mount his horse, throw business to the winds and fly to defend our homes, and yet Willie is sick, my heart turns faint as I write it, his tongue is worse and he thinks ulcers are forming in his throat. Oh! if it should be the dreaded canker! Mother will take him to Monroe this evening to consult a doctor there. May God in his mercy avert this trial.

Saturday June 1st —

Willie’s tongue is much better, the improvement became perceptible yesterday. Last night we had a joyful surprise, Miss Mary and I were in our night dresses when Rose came into the room exclaiming “Miss Sarah and Miss Mary come and see your Pa” “I ain’t fooling you he is come”, hardly believing her we went into the room, and there sure enough was Father, I have not seen him yet this morning, and do not know what news he brings.

Mother’s drygoods from New Orleans came up the other day and we are all quite busy sewing. Miss Mary and I went to Mrs. Axley’s yesterday to have some things fitted. Mr. Axley is still sick.

The weather as may be expected in June, is warm; Thursday was a very oppressive day.

Home. June 19th /61 —

Once more I feel that I am justified in using the word “home”, and though our home is very rude and very much crowded still a feeling of satisfaction comes over me when I think that for the first time in more than three years, our house and land, little as it is, is yet ours. But it has been a long time since I have written any, and I must briefly note the events which have occurred since “June the 8th”. In the first place Willie has gone back to the mill, his tongue is apparrently well, but his voice is still very thick and the shape of his mouth is a little impaired.

Father went to Vicksburg Sunday afternoon but returned Thursday morning, and then we commenced moving. Father slept up here Thursday and Friday nights, Friday after dinner I came up and spent the evening in arranging furniture and clothing and Saturday night Miss Mary, Eva. Lory and I slept here, Father of course remaining with us, and Willie sleeping at Mr. Bry’s as a protection for Mother. We walked down to breakfast Sunday morning, and spent the day at Mr. Bry’s; truly we were all glad of the rest which the Sabbath afforded. Father laid down the greater part of the day, and I was very tired.

Sunday night we came up here to sleep, leaving Mother as before, Monday morning walked down to breakfast again and rode back on the wagon, in the afternoon Mother came up and Monday night for the first time we all slept to together under the roof of our new home.

It really would be amusing to a person not initiated into the customs of Southern country people to have seen how we lived, our house is a long low building divided at one end by a partition into two rooms, the end room, which is occupied by Mother, Father, George and the baby is about 17 feet square and has two windown and two doors; the room in which I am now writing is appropriated to Miss Mary, Eva. Lory and I, besides Rose, who sleeps on the floor, and George’s puppy, who cannot bear the cold night air and is therefore obliged to be taken into our room. These are it’s occupants during the night, it is our sitting room in the day, this room is about 32 feet long and has four windows and three doors, it has no ceiling but some planks are laid at irregular distances on the rafters in order that all unnecessary trunks and boxes my be piled upon them.

For the sake of my amusement in some subsequent hour when we shall have exchanged our present residence for a more roomy one and when I may have become partially oblivious to our present state I subjoin an inventory of the furniture contained in this last mentioned room.

There are two bedsteads, two wardrobes, three bureaus, one large chest, one grand piano, with stool, one couch, two washstands with towel horses, three large trunks and one small one, two kegs of nails, one rocking horse, one box of tools, one side saddle and a great many chairs, besides this there are numberless bandboxes, baskets and toys lodged on the tops of the two wardrobes, and on the boards overhead before spoken of. I count four trunks, three valises a box of sash, five pillows and one bolster a broken table and a frame for a couch musquetoe net, eleven book boxes and one chair, these pretty well fill up our room not to mention a row of nails for dresses which are kindly overshadowed by a chintz curtain, another row for hats, caps, coats and bonnets, and still another for sundries; to fill up the picture it must be reccollected that the walls of our “home” are of rough, undressed weatherboarding without a ceiling, that the rafters and the posts of the house are of pine stripped of its bark, but otherwise undressed, and that neither windows nor doors have aught to close them but are merely openings in the wall. We have now curtains, but until Monday we had not even these.

Besides the house I have described we have a kitchen which is set upon blocks and the boards nailed on about two inches apart, which gives it the appearance of a large birdcage, between the house and the kitchen connecting with both and walled like the latter there is a room which we use as a dining room and in which we keep the safes. We have as yet no storeroom nor stable, the mules and horses are kept at Mr. Bry’s still, but will be removed with Uncle Jim to Willie’s old camps tomorrow.

We have not any well yet, but get our water from Dr. Young’s; Sallie is still at Mr. Bry’s and will not come up here until she finishes the weeks washing.

Father a negroe man and a boy raking up the leaves, grubbing up the roots and cutting down the bushes in our yard, this is a very pretty place, though not as beautiful or as susceptible of improvement as the other hill upon which I hope Father will build a permanent residence.

I rode down to Mr. Axley’s with Father yesterday, I rode Railroad, at first I was rather afraid, as it has been nearly two years since I was on horseback before and Railroad is very tall, but I soon became quite easy and enjoyed the ride very much.

Father went to Vicksburg yesterday afternoon, we expect him back tonight. Mr. Axley did not come to his work this morning, he must be sick again. I hope he will soon, for we need his services very much.

Ah! I am nearly on the last leaf of this old book, this book which has been my companion for almost two years, which has been with me from Louisiana to Canada and which has been the repository of many feelings both of joy and sorrow.

I cannot close it without one brief sentence concerning my country, on Sunday we received the latest news, affairs in Virginia remain the same, both parties are concentrating their forces but there has been no fight beyond a few slight Skirmishes. But developments are being made in another direction, Missourri at last has spurned the yoke of the cowardly tyrant of the United States, her Governor has issued a proclamation for state troops to repel the Lincolnites, if Kentucky would but follow this noble example what might not the result be.

But Mother calls me to walk with her, goodbye, dear journal, this is my last entry in this book and for the first time I feel how dear it has become to me

Route from Amite, La. to South Newmarket, N. H.

From Amite to Jackson, Miss. by the N. O. J. amd Great Northern R.R.

From Jackson to Vicksburg arriving at V. 8 1/2 P.M. by the Southern R.R.

From Vicksburg to Memphis — left V. 6 1/2 A.M. Friday the 26th Aug. on Steamer Capitol, arrive at Memphis Sunday 10 A.M.

From Memphis to St. Louis — left M. at 5 1/2 A.M. on the Memphis & Ohio R.R. change cars at Humbolt, from Humbolt to Columbus, Ky. on the Mobile & Ohio R.R. took the boat at Columbus, the W. A. Eaves to Cairo, took cars at Cairo, from Cairo to Centralia Ill. on the Ill. Central R.R. Arrive at Centralia 10 P.M. stayed the over night. Tuesday morning 9 A.M. took the cars to St. Louis, change at Sandoval, from Sandoval to St. Louis on the Ohio & Mississippi R.R.

From St. Louis to Chicago — Took the Steamer Baltimore at St. Louis at 7 A.M. for Alton, 25 miles above St. Louis. Took the St. Louis, Alton, and Chicago R.R. at Alton for Chicago, Arrived at C. about 10 1/2 P.M.

Manuscript volume No. 2
June, 1861 — April, 1863, pp. 1 — 124


Home. Sunday, June 23rd /1861. —

This is my first entry in my new journal book, the leaves are all fresh and fair, let me try to keep them unsullied by evil thoughts and the record of evil actions, yet to do this and still keep a faithful record my life must be pure, I would that one mighty effort might achieve this, then should I achieve it, but as this may not be, I must watch against the little trials which tempt me to daily sins.

Our first Sunday at our new home has been past as usual alltogether; Willie stays here now, he has sold his interest in the mill to Mr. Pierce, and will stay there no more.

This morning after breakfast Rose went over to Mrs. Young’s to enquire if the Doctor had come, she brought word that he had not and that Carrie was sick in bed. Mother thought, I had better go and see Carrie, so Miss Mary and I went over, we found that it was only one of Rose’s exaggerated messages and that Carrie was no worse than usual, only she had taken some medicine which weakened her and consequently she had not yet risen. We stayed nearly an hour but she did not come out, she has not been well since she returned home.

I have been spending today very quietly trying to strengthen myself against the incursions of fretfulness and illtemper which so often cloud my horizon. I am often tried since we removed here, I can have no privacy or quiet and I have been so much indulged in both since my earliest years that they are almost necessary for my happiness, but I can only conquer myself this trial will be useful to me.

It is very warm, the thermometer at 95�, every one of the family except me are lying on beds and couches or leaning back in rocking chairs with palm leave fans, trying to keep cool, the rays of the sun beam down with intense heat, and when we go to the south door the air is like a blast from a furnace, to me there is something exciting in this intense heat.

Vicksburg, Tuesday June 25th /61 —

We, Father and I, left home yesterday afternoon, for this place. I have been dreading for a long time to have my teeth examined by a dentist lately one of them commenced to ache, I could no longer put off the evil day and so I came to Vicksburg with Father, we arrived here safely this morning.

I have just come from Dr. Miles, have had four teeth filled and some tartar removed, it was not half as bad as I expected, being more tiresome than painful. Dr. Miles was so gentle and kind, that I suffered nothing from fear, the corners of my mouth are the greatest sufferers, they feel as if stretched out of all shape.

I have been lying down to refresh me a little before the evening, we rose so early this morning that I felt a little dull, but am quite bright now.

Mr. Green came in to see me after dinner, Father had business over the river and left me to entertain him alone, his visit was very pleasant indeed, he converses so easily that one cannot feel embarrassed in his company, he is very anxious to go to the war, and thinks he will go; said he would be back to see us tonight.

I must dress for supper now, ’tis nearly dark; and Father must find me ready when he comes, he did not know the dinner hour, and came in so late that he had not time to eat his dinner.

Night —

Mr. Green came to tea, has just left, he has decided to go to the wars, is elected Captain, but the company is not yet full; they think of calling themselves the Vicksburg Greys; uniform — grey with black trimmings[.]

Vicksburg, Wednesday morn.

I have a few minutes before breakfast this morning, and having nothing else to do, I sit down to write about our journey here, which I said nothing about yesterday, having other matters to occupy my attention. After a very pleasant drive of two hours, we reached Monroe at about six o’clock. Left my trunk at the Hotel, and went to see Aunt Jane. I found her in very good spirits and a tolerable degree of health, she says she is sick one day and well the next.

Father came for me about dusk accompanied by Major Bry, we walked through some very pleasant streets and soon arrived at the New Hotel, the Ouachita Hotel. Mrs. Riley, the hostess, who is both literary and matronly, received me with a “welcome, my dear”, and Father leaving me for a time, entertained me almost unremittingly till his return; after tea she enquired, quite unexpectedly to me, what kind of reading I was fond of, I replied that all kinds were alike acceptible, whereupon she produced two magazines, on the cover of which she showed me a very flattering notice of Mrs. Dr. Riley (I forgot to say that she is a female Physician) the literary editors, opening the book she pointed out several pieces, bearing her nome de plume, “La Ferve”, I received them with gratitude and read them with gravity; and after the perusal was finished, felt about as much edified as if I had been reading over the long columns of words in Webster’s spelling book.

The house was so full that I was put in the room with Mrs. Dr. Young of Sunton, she was on her way to Virginia to visit her husband, who is in the army, she is a very nice and pleasant Lady. —

We rose very early yesterday morning and left on the cars just as the sun was rising, I enjoyed my ride to Vicksburg very much, there was very little dust in the cars, we had a fine breeze, and the woods looked very beautiful; besides this Mrs. Young was very pleasant and her companion Mr. Oliver quite as much so, I should have been glad if Father and I had been going all the way to Virginia with them, Mrs. Young wished me to go, and I know Father would have liked the journey had circumstances been favorable. Mrs. Young and Mr. Olivar left on the Southern cars yesterday afternoon.

Eleven o’clock. —

I went out after breakfast to make a few purchases, and have just been lying down preparatory to dressing for dinner, nothing tries me so much as to go into a number of stores, I did not want much but had to visit a number of places to get what I did want. We leave this afternoon at two.

Home, June 29th/ — Saturday:

We arrived at home safely Wednesday night, found Mother in bed with a headache, Thursday she was worse and yesterday she was very sick, sent for the Doctor yesterday evening, Dr. Straughter from Monroe; he prescribed for Mother last night, spent the night at Dr. Young’s and came again this morning. Mother is very weak indeed, I think she is a little better this evening, Miss May was taken sick yesterday, the Dr. says she has bilious fever, left her a powder this morning and gave her salts, she complains greatly of weakness, but I think her improving.

Father is scarcely able to be up, he looked very badly Wednesday, is better now, but has barely escaped a spell of sickness.

I am very busy all the time, I snatched a few minutes while Mother is asleep to write the above, but cannot write any more. I was very uneasy about Mother yesterday, and I cannot bear to leave her any more than I am obliged to. Dr. S. comes again tomorrow morning.

July 7th / 1861 — Sunday —

I have not written in here in so long a time because I have been hardly able to perform the manifold duties that have fallen upon lately, and of course would not have felt justified in taking any time for writing. Since Wednesday I have had a very bad cold, for two days it seemed almost impossible for me to sit up, indeed I did lie down all Thursday evening; yesterday and today I have felt much better.

Poor Miss Mary is in bed yet, Saturday was the first day she has missed her regular chill and fever, she is very weak and has grown very thin indeed, she is much more nervous than we expected from her and is easily disturbed by noise, though poor girl she cannot have much quiet, we are so situated that it is almost if not quite impossible to get a moments perfect quiet during the entire day.

Our little baby is very sick, he has had a had cold all the week, and was threatened with the croup all Friday night, Saturday and last night, today he is scarcely any better, he is very weak. Georgie also has been suffering from a bad cold, this week, he is much better now.

Mother has been sitting up since Wednesday, but has not been out of her room until yesterday, she is now very well again.

Father left us for New Orleans Monday evening and returned last night, he is looking very well again. Father received a letter from Mr. John Green while away, he writes that his company is encamped near Richmond to drill, they have not, as they hoped, been called into immediate service, but are being well prepared to fight when they do engage; Mr. J. Green says nothing about his own situation or feeling, but I presume that of course he is contented.

The fourth of July passed very quietly here, my mind was so much occuppied by other things that I had almost forgotten the day. There was a picnic some four or five miles from here; I see by the papers that the day was kept with the proper decorum; stores and offices were closed, and closed and the appropriate salutes fired, but there were no noisy demonstrations. I think that the day should have been observed with unusual strictness, but it is but natural and right that the feeling should have been more of sober thankfulness and religious prayer than of noisy joy.

We have had a nice rain this evening, it is very refreshing for the day has been very warm, Aunt Jane spent the day with us Friday she was looking very well, and was very pleasant.

There has been a comet visible for some nights past, I went out to see it Friday night, it was very beautiful, but its brightness was beginning to wane. I was sorry that I had not been well enough to have seen it at first.

The rain has cleared away, and the son is hastening to a clear setting, this is the most delightful part of our Sabbath, it is a time when our thoughts are insensibly drawn away from Earth and when, looking at the declining sun

We can almost think we see
Through golden vistas into Heaven.

How delightful a quiet Sabbath evening, in its stillness arise thoughts that strengthen us to bear our daily burden through the busy week, until the blessed season comes again.

But if the day has not been consecrated to God the calmness of the evening only affords a silent time when accusing actions can rise up against us, and be heard; well for us if we heed the warning of conscience now.

I realize lately how near death always is, he can enter every where; no precaution is able to bar him out. Why not then look death steadily in the face; why not accustom ourselves to the contemplation of the grave, as something which we must encounter and which we cannot destroy by looking away from it. Why not live in the constant rememberance that this is only a preparation and that our true life lies beyond; then should we be ready for death, and never need hush the whisper in soul that tells us the unwelcome truth, death is ever able to intrude.

Tuesday, July 9th —

John is very much better, he commenced to improve late Sunday evening, and has been quite bright since, but is still pale and rather fretful. Mother thinks it is the cutting of his jaw teeth.

Miss Mary had another chill this morning, she seemed very much better yesterday afternoon and sat up some time, but this chill has prostrated her completely, she is very low spirited too.

My cold is nearly well, I feel better today than I have for a week. I took salts yesterday and it completely freed me from the headache from which I have been suffering the past week. I have been taking some horseback rides lately, yesterday morning I rode out with Father, and this morning I went down to the mill with him, we left quite early, but Father had a mule which he wished to shoe, and this, with some other duties detained him so long that we did not get back home until eleven o’clock; we had a delightful ride for though the sun was shining very warm, we came by a bridle path through the woods and did not feel the heat at all.

Mrs. Nobles, one of our neighbors, called to see Mother this morning, she gave us a paper from the militart sewing society in Monroe, authorizing the ladies out here to form a branch society, Mother and I both signed our names, the ladies are to meet Thursday and elect officers for the society.

Dr. Young’s oldest son, Adam, has returned from school for vacation, I have not seen him yet, he is younger than Carrie.

Sunday, July 14th —

I have been so much occuppied by social duties since Tuesday that I have not had time to write, Wednesday I rode down to the mill with Willie in the morning, and in the evning I went over to Dr. Young’s to call on Miss Marshall of Vicksburg, a young lady who is visiting Carrie. Thursday was the day appointed for the meeting of our society. I of course went, Mother was not able to leave Miss Mary; we had a very pleasant meeting, about twelve or thirteen ladies were present, and we had nineteen names on our list.

The officers elected were, Mrs. Robles, president, Miss Josephine Friend, vice president, Miss Bry, treasurer, and Miss Sarah Wadley, secretary. The next meeting is a week from next Thursday.

Thursday afternoon I went down to see Mrs. Adams and intended to go to Major Bry’s but found his daughter at Mr. Adams, and consequently spent the evening there. Friday morning rode down to the camps with Willie, and paid a visit to Mrs. Hodge Adams; in the afternoon went down to see the Misses Bry, spent a very pleasant hour in the society of the family. Saturday morning the quarterly meeting at the Methodist Church commenced, I went to Church, and heard a sermon, which, though neither elegant nor very tasteful, did me good by giving new impetus to my endeavours to attain goodness.

After service the presiding elder made a few remarks about our sewing society for the soldiers and invited all the ladies to join it. Dr. Young, who was present, proposed that the gentlemen should all retire and leave the ladies unembarressed and said that the secretary, Miss Sarah Wadley who was present, might then take the names; accordingly the gentleman retired, a pencil and paper was obtained and I received eighteen names, some married ladies, some unmarried, two of the ladies paid me their admission fee (one dollar each) which I sent down to the treasurer this morning; my position would probably have been very embarrassing had I not been slightly acquainted with a number of the ladies.

This morning I went to Church again, Miss Marshall went with me, and I found her very agreeable, she has been very well educated and has mixed with good society for two or three years. The Church was very full today, quite a number of people were obliged to remain outside for want of room in the Church. The text was from Romans, upon Christian duty, the minister was very well at home upon this subject, and preached a very good sensible sermon, it was rather long, and many persons complained of fatigue but I was not much tired.

The Communion was administered to the white members and then to the negroes; I thought the Communion of the negroes was very affecting, more so than that of the whites; slaves seem so much more dependent, their position in society makes their deportment so much more humble, that it is peculiarly interesting to see them receive the spiritual body and blood of Christ.

Altogether, service was to me quite impressive, the surroundings were so novel, a country Church built of hewn logs, blackened but not decayed by years; a roof which high and pointed as it was served for a dome, in the top of which spiders had woven their webs, and dirt daubers built their nests unmolested by the occassional congregation; windows without glass but having rude shutters instead; hard wooden benches and a high square pulpit of plain boards without ornament of any kind was the Church which crowned the summit of a low hill, with the forest growth untouched by the axe of the settler, from the windows we looked out upon a thick wall of green of countless beautiful shades and fluttered by cool south breezes; turning our eyes inward they were almost pained by the light colors of dresses mantles and bonnets, pure white, bright pink and green, blue and yellow, quiet brown and somber black, from the young lady dressed in neat, fashionable summer toilet to the poor girl in her flowered caliko and green sun bonnet, all the grades from a dowdy to the neat old country woman or her quiet daughter; and over this heterogenous congregation presided the minister, the circuit rider, a tall sinewy man, with black hair and iron grey beard who expounded the scriptures without the ornament of graceful attitudes or fluent speech, but with energy and sincere plainness, frequently wanting for a word but often propounded a startling question with perfect simplicity and clearness. I have not been to Church before in nearly six months, and though it was differrent, from what I have been accustomed to, still I enjoyed it very much more than I expected.

Willie has joined a company in Trenton, he drilled for the first time yesterday. It is a home guard and will only leave in case of a call for more troops. Willie went to Church with us this morning.

Miss Mary is very much better, she has not had chill since Tuesday she rode out Friday for the first time.

Mother and I went to Mrs. Wilson’s yesterday afternoon, found her very pleasant.

Wednesday, July 17th —

Father went to Vicksburg Monday, and we expect him back tonight. Every thing has gone along very quietly this week. Mother and I went up to see Mrs. Williams yesterday afternoon, she is one of our near neighbors, and is a very pleasant, elderly lady, I became acquainted with her at the meeting of our society.

I have taken my morning ride as usual, every day, this morning Willie and I went along a delightful road through the woods, it was in some places a rough bridle path and the leaves often formed a green canopy over our heads. The beautiful Beech tree grew abundantly in the low lands, and on the hills oaks and hickorys threw their wide branches across the pathway, all of them surmounted by the noble pine, now lovely in its bright green summer attire; I enjoy a ride through the woods so much.

There is to be a concert and supper in Monroe tonight, for the benefit of the Ladies Volunteer Aid society. I have been pressed to go by all my acquaintances around here, and Aunt Jane invited me to spend the night of the concert with her, but I thought it would be better for me not to go, I have no appropriate dress to wear. Father could not be at home to go with me and though I should no doubt have enjoyed after getting there, yet I felt no very great desire to go; Carrie Young is one of the performers, they expect to have very fine music.

Today has been quite warm, we have been expecting rain all day but I do not think it will come, we are needing rain very much now, but I should prefer, on account of the concert, that it would come tomorrow instead of today.

July 22nd/ 61 —

We have had a delightful rainy day, we were needing rain and now it has been granted and in just the right quantity and manner, this morning it showered a little and remained cloudy with a very few short intervals of sunshine until noon, when a pouring rain commenced and continued for an hour. It has been cloudy ever since, and this rain with the moist atmosphere will revive the verdant green all around, I hope it has been general.

Yesterday I attended Sunday School at Church, a bible class has just been formed and I was happy to have the opportunity of joining one, we have not many members yet, but will probably have more in time.

Father returned Wednesday night as we expected, he left for Vicksburg again this evening. Mother and Miss Mary went to Monroe Friday, they spent the day with Aunt Jane at Dr. Roane’s found Aunt Jane very well.

Our troops have achieved a great victory under Beauregard, the number engaged on either side is not known, the enemy attempting to advance were met at Bulls run near Manassas and a severe battle of an hour ensued, our troops gained a complete victory and the enemy retreated in confusion after a great loss; it is said that we lost very few.

Beauregard had a narrow escape, the Federalists having probably ascertained his whereabouts fired into the kitchen where he sat at dinner but he was unhurt. Strikingly illustrative of their disregard of the humanity, so to speak, of civilized warfare, is the fact that they fired into the hospital over which the yellow flag was flying.

It is said that ten thousand Federalists were repulsed by seven thousand Confederates under General Bonham and with great slaughter.

God seems to aid us, he has thus far given us the victory.

How little can we forsee through the clouds of sorrow the loving hand which afflicts us in mercy and which will lead us safely to the serene light of lasting peace. A year ago yesterday my beloved Aunt breathed her last, closed her eyes on the sorrows of Earth and I trust passed into happiness. Oh how much better thus, had she continued in life untill now how could she have borne the sight of war, how could we have borne to see her surrounded by sorrows her very husband leading his children in the paths of fanaticism and Treason soon alas to lead to anarchy or tyranny, to have known that she and her brother were divided by impassible barriers, this would have killed her, better is it that she departed while all was outwardly peaceful, when she might gather an undivided family around her and bid them goodbye in peace; were she living now, she would be to us worse than dead. I have come to look upon her loss with resignation I hope to join her in the mansions of the blessed where there shall be no more dissension or sorrow, but the great king shall reign in divine peace.

Sunday, July 28th/ 61. —

I have today to record a most splendid and complete victory achieved by the southern army, we first received the news on Tuesday but fearing lest it might not be authentic I waited till today to write about it. We have now received full details. The battle was fought last Sunday, commenced early in the morning and continued till after the darkness came on, the number of troops on the United States side is said to be somewhere near 60,000 we had not more than 35,000, the battle was hard fought, at one time our position was critical but a reinforcement came up and decided the day, the enemy fled precipitately leaving their wounded and all their baggage and provisions. Beauregard and Johnston commanded but Davis arrived at the scene of battle at noon, both Beauregard and Johnston displayed great personal bravery, the loss of the enemy in killed, wounded and prisoners amounts to from ten to fifteen thousand, we lost about five hundred killed and one thousand wounded, no prisoners. Our troops captured sixty one pieces of cannon besides a great quantity of arms and ammunition, immense quantities of baggage and provisions.

It in said that General Scott was near the field of battle in his carriage when they retreated he also left his carriage and escaped in one direction while the vehicle drove off in another. The soldiers of our army captured the carriage which contained his sword and epalelettes, a greater stigma (if it were possible) now attaches itself to his name.

The accounts given of the Federal army are most disgraceful, it is said that among other things captured were a number of bills of fare, for most elaborate dinners to be given by McDowell on his march to Richmond.

Col. Francis Bartow of Georgia was killed, while heading a gallant charge of his regiment, he was a brave man and a competent officer, Father was well acquainted with him. The hand of providence is clearly seen in this victory, God fought on our side and nerved the hearts and hands of our soldiers else we had not been victorious, we are thankful for his goodness unto us.

Miss Mary, Eva, and I went to Sunday School this morning, we also had a meeting for the purpose of testifying our thanks to God for this great victory. Dr. Young preached, this was in accordance with a resolution of the Confederate congress recommending the people to observe this as a day of thanksgiving all joined in praising the merciful providence of our God.

President Davis’ message is all that we could have hoped from our hero statesman. Wise, moderate, and just in council, cool, brave and gallant in battle; firm, energetic and instant in the performance of his executive duties, truly we have in him a second Washington, there is in his message nothing rabid or undignified, his declarations are decided and explicit, but mild almost to gentleness; yet in the same paper which contains his message, we read of him on the battle field charging at the head of his troops and mingling personally in the affray.

We had our second meeting last Thursday, but little was done, we have not received letters from the volunteers and do not know what they want, shall probably have some sewing soon.

Willie has the chills and fever, he was taken Thursday, Mother has given him medicine and thinks she has broken the chills.

Father went to Vicksburg Monday, Miss Mary and Aunt Jane went in Wednesday, Miss Mary went to have her tooth attended to, she expected to have returned the same night but was obliged to remain until Thursday when she and Father both returned.

Mr. Robt. Green and his company leave for Virginia the last of next week, he said that he would be sure to come out and see us before leaving.

The first two or three days of this week were very cool but yesterday and today have been very warm.

Monday, July 29th/ 1861 —

Today an accident happened which renders this day one of the memorable days of our quiet life. Mother and I were sitting here very quietly talking to Carrie Young who was over here, when Emmeline said, “Miss Sarah, a gentleman is coming”. I immediately went to the door and to my great surprise saw a gentlemen in uniform, at first glance I thought it was Horace Holton but I soon saw that I was mistaken and that it was a perfect stranger, he came up and said that he would be much obliged if Mother would have his horse taken out of the buggy and a saddle put on him, as he was on special business for the Confederate Army and his horse would not drive. While Uncle Jim was putting up the buggy, the soldier sat down and explained himself to us; his name he said was Lieutenant Hervey of President Davis’ staff, he had been traveling night and day on business to some companies at Shreveport, he would have gone through on the stage last night, but he had Confederate bonds to pay his passage with, and the stage proprietors refused to take him unless he paid seventeen dollars in cash, he then showed them his credentials and a paper from President Davis respectfully requesting all heads of railroads and other public conveyances to allow Lieutenant Hervey to pass and take his acknowledgement as a voucher for the payment of the Confederate states, but not withstanding this, they still refused to allow him to go, he then, thinking that he could do no more, obtained a horse and buggy and started on his way this morning, not however until he had written to the authorities giving an account of his treatment.

We were perfectly astonished at this behaviour from the stage proprietors. I had not thought that there was any man in our midst who would not have speeded any of our soldiers on their way, especially an officer of the staff and on particular business.

The young man lived in Jefferson, Texas and went to the war as Lieutenant in the Orleans Cadets, he was first ordered to Pensacola but afterwards removed to Virginia, he was in the skirmish in which Col. Charles Dreux was killed, he himself narrowly escaped; (being wounded in the shoulder) he was promoted twice until he reached the rank of Lieutenant in the staff. He was originally from Columbus, Georgia, his Father was Col. Hervey who was killed in the Mexican war. This young man is an only child and his Mother a widow, had it not been for the outrageous conduct of those stage proprietors he might have spent a few hours at home. He has been absent six months and has not heard from his Mother. He says that the Independent Blues, the company of which Horace is saargent, is at Yorktown. The Ouachita Blues are encamped near Richmond.

He left Richmond the day before the battle, but received a dispatch from a member of the Cabinet saying that the sword and epaulettes of Scott, also his carriage and horses had arrived in Richmond, and that the award was the same one presented to Scott by the ladies of Virginia! What must be his feeling, a traitor to his country, a fugitive, flying in a most disgraceful retreat, hated and in disgrace both North and South! We lent Lieutenant Hervey a saddle, bridle, and pair of saddle bags, and bade him a most fervent “God speed”.

Willie is much better today but is very weak, he looks badly. I would have thought a few days sickness could make so great a change.

Father and I rode down to the mill this morning, Father took John in his arms and carried him along, he was delighted with his ride for the first mile and then he went to sleep.

We called by Mrs. Hodge Adams’, they leave for Texas tomorrow morning. Mrs. Adams is delighted to get away, she dislikes this country greatly but thinks Texas perfectly delightful.

Father went to Monroe after we returned, he was not here to see Lieutenant Hervey, I know he will be angry when he hears of the conduct of those stage people.

Today is quite warm. Carrie Young spent two or three hours with us this morning, for the first time since she came home, hitherto she has only remained a few minutes, she has not been to see me before in three or four weeks. Mrs. Young has been sick, she was over here Saturday.

Wednesday, July 31st/ 61 —

My last entry was filled with the description of Lieutenant Hervey and his mission, it is but fair that I should record Father’s reception of our story, he merely laughed, surprised at this, we somewhat warmly asked what excited his mirth, he said he was laughing at our officer, on questioning him further we found out that he had met Lieutenant Hervey on the road, and he thought from his appearance that Davis would hardly have sent him on very particular business. Dr. Young says that the papers he offered to the stage proprietors were not Confederate bonds, but were spurious, the Dr. also says that this same man was at Bastrop last week, he was also at the concert in Monroe, his story and his actions do not tally at all, Dr. Young says he is sure that he is an imposter, Father is not so sure that he is altogether an imposter but is fully convinced that his rank and mission are not as important as he represented them.

After leaving here Lieutenant Hervey went over to Dr. Young’s and borrowed a horse from Mrs. Young after excited the sympathies of Mrs. Y. and Mrs. Sthresthly he went on to a house about twelve miles from here and told the same exciting story, he took the stage there, and the gentleman of the house sent back Dr. Young’s horse and our saddle and bridle. We have seen or heard nothing more of the capture of Cairo, it must have been an invention of Lieutenant Hervey’s. Mother and I went over to Dr. Young’s this evening, Mrs. Sthresthly looks very badly, she no doubt suffers great anxiety of mind. Mrs. Young looks better, Carrie was at Monroe, she went Tuesday.

We met a preacher, a Mr. Armstrong of the methodist denomination. Father sent for us about dusk to come home to see Mrs. Williams who had called in our absence.

Friday, August 2nd / 1861 —

Mother and Father went to Monroe yesterday to spend the day, Father did not return, but goes to Vicksburg this morning. Mr. Boulineau one of the officers on the Southern railroad wants Father to go over the road and give him some advice, now that Mr. Green has given up the charge, Mr. B. will fill his place, assisted by Father’s advice and occasional superintendence.

Mother attended the meeting of the Monroe Aid Society yesterday, she says that they had no work, but did a good deal of talking and writing, Mother says I must be more particular about my “minutes” I did not think it necessary to put down anything about our last meeting but I shall do so now.

Just after dinner yesterday an old lady and her son came to see us, Miss Mary and I were sitting in this front room when they came, and we could not imagine who they were, Willie soon came in and addressed the lady as Mrs. Brantley, she is one from whom Willie hired seven negroes when he went to work, she is a very nice old lady, she spent all the evening here, and also remained during the night.

Miss Mary has been busy making a curtain to hang up in our room in case Mr. Robt. Green should come to stay all night; we expected him a little last night and had the curtain all ready, he did not come, but we had use for the curtain; there was a mistake about the beds, (Mrs. Brantley getting into ours) and Miss Mary and I had to sleep on the floor, we only had one moss mattress and our bed was as hard as a board, I could not sleep for a long time and this morning my neck and shoulders were very lame.

Mrs. Brantley has fifteen children, she has three sons, two sons-inlaw and one grandson in our army, she came down to try to get a little money from Father, she said one of her sons had returned home on account of sickness and was now going back again and she wanted to give him some money and send some to his brothers, she said that if she could only get a hundred dollars that she would be satisfied. We were very sorry that Father was not at home, if he had been he would have strained every nerve to have paid her under such circumstances, but we had no money in the house and Father was not here; Father does not draw any salary now, the road is so pressed for money, and he is very much straitened; Mrs. Brantley says that around in her neighborhood every one has given almost their last cent of ready money to the war cause.

I called on Miss Julia Wilson Monday evening, found her at home, she was very pleasant, her Mother calls her wild, and some others have said the same, but she appeared only animated and pleasing, her demeanor was lady like and correct.

Mr. Hodge Adams and family left on Tuesday, Mother went down to bid them goodbye. This is such a warm day, the thermometer stands at 96� in the shade, it has been warm all day, but the heat is more intense now, at one o’clock, I have taken off my dress and am sitting with a thin apron over my shoulders; I did not till so late last night and rose so early this morning that I feel quite badly, I have done nothing today, except to write this journal and wipe off the perspiration, the sun beams down intensely hot and scarce a leaf is stirring.

Mother, Miss Mary and I went over to Mrs. Marks this morning and spent an hour or two, Mrs. Marks is quilting a silk quilt, she showed it to us, it is very pretty indeed. It reminded me of Miss Valeria, when we were down there she showed us a quilt which she had begun, hers was made in little circles, each circle being composed of pieces which some friend had given her, in the centre was a white piece, with the donor’s name written on it. Mrs. Marks looked very well today she bears her husbands absence with fortitude, maintaining sober cheerfulness all the time.

In Mrs. Marks manners I think she resembles Miss Valeria somewhat, they are both quiet and self possessed but converse easily and intelligently. Mrs. Marks is not so intellectual as Miss Valeria, nor is she quite so pleasant in conversation, that is to me, as is Miss Valeria.

Father made a windless to our well Saturday and we drink that water now, it is not so clear or so pleasant to the taste as Dr. Young’s well water but tastes very well.

Mr. Axley to sick, has not worked any this week. Father has had all the sills hauled for our house, and Mr. Axley had just finished the outbuildings and was going to work on the house when he was taken sick; the summer is slipping away fast now, there are only two months more untill cold weather commences, and I am very much afraid the house will not be finished far enough for us to move into it in the winter; it seems almost impossible for us to live here in cold weather.

Willie has not had another chill but is very weak, he is very low-spirited too, he wants to go to the war and does not feel able to go; Father is very anxious that he should go at all hazards.

Rose had a dumb chill Tuesday and another yesterday, she is up today, but looks badly, Mother has given her medicine.

Wednesday, August 7th —

I did not intend to put off writing so long but have almost unconsciously deferred it from day to day.

Father returned home very unexpectedly to us all Friday night, Mother sent Uncle Jim to Monroe that night to get some butter and when he came back he brought word that Pa would be home on the stage. Pa said that he was not wanted in Vicksburg, and so he came home.

Sunday night Lieutenant Hervey came out to the gate about two o’clock and called for his buggy, Father answered him that the owner of the buggy had come and taken it, the Lieutenant then said that he had gotten off the stage and was now in the open road with a lady, Father told him that we could not take him in, that our shanty was “filled to overflowing” but that he could probably get a shelter over at Dr. Young’s, the man went away and (according to his version) when he had gotten down opposite, our house the lady fell down in a faint, he built a fire, and as the night was dry concluded to wait there until morning. Mother got up to attend to Rosa who was sick in the room and seeing the bright light she imagined that it was Lieutenant Hervey and thinking that Dr. Young might have refused him admittance, she felt sorry for the lady and sent down to the fence to say to them that if they would come up she would give them all that she could in the shape of lodging, the servant returned and said that they were not there. Lieutenant Hervey says that the servant did not go to the fire at all. In the morning Father was going into Monroe with the carriage, (to bring Mr. Green out) and Mother sent over to invite the Lieutenant and the lady to go in with him, soon after breakfast the Lieutenant came over, he said that he had had great trouble about getting together his recruits and was very much fatigued, he said that the lady was going on to Richmond with him, that she was his cousin and in very delicate health having just recovered from a severe illness; he promised to send Mother the Richmond papers when he had arrived and left with many thanks for Mother’s kindness. Before I dismiss this subject I must say (though not in regular order) that Mr. Robt. Green says that Lieutenant Hervey has never been to Richmond! that he has passed over the road several times from Camp Moore but never from Richmond, and that the last time he passed he had a Lieutenant’s commission.

Monday afternoon, Mrs. Noble, Mrs. Marks, Mrs. Wilson and Miss Scarborough, Mrs. Wilson’s niece, all came to see us, Miss Wilson was too sick to come out.

Monday night about half past ten or eleven o’clock Father and Mr. Green came; I had been feeling badly all day and went to bed very early, knowing that if I did not I should not be able to sit up on the morrow. Tuesday Mr. Green spent the day with us, it was very pleasant and I enjoyed his company an much as any one could who was only half able to sit up. Mr. Green is really an admirable man and one whom it would be a pleasure and a privilege to know intimately; there appears to be but one defective point in his character the want of earnest religion, this alas is a want which too many of us have to deplore; neither strictly moral life or a poetical conception of Deity can supply the deficiency.

Mr. Green expects to leave for Virginia tomorrow, he may be dissappointed but will almost certainly leave next week; he says that he does not go from a desire to appear courageous and to be shot at that he may win honourable scars, but because he feels deeply that it is his duty to go and he will not fail in this duty. His company are now called Vicksburg Confederates.

We had a delightful rain yesterday afternoon, it commenced at three o’clock and rained on steadily until nearly sunset. I was so glad, and yet I partly regretted that it rained so long, because Father and Mr. Green had to go to Monroe in the rain. Father went on to Vicksburg too, we expect him to return tomorrow night.

Rose is very sick, Mother sent for the Doctor (Dr. White) Monday evening he pronounced her sickness inflammation of the bowels, has been attending on her ever since, she is no better, but her case is not one of the worst.

This has been a delightful morning, everything looks so green and fresh and the air is deliciously pure and cool.

Mr. Pierce spent the day with us Sunday, he is looking very well.

Thursday, August 8th/ —

This is our society day, of course I was present, Miss Mary joined — Mother did not go, she could not leave Rose, and as she had been sitting up to give medicine until twelve o’clock for several nights she was very much fatigued.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see Mrs. Young of Trenton, my acquaintance of the cars, at the meetings she met me very cordially, she expected to remain in Virginia all summer, but when the militia was all called out, her husband thought it dangerous for her to remain and she returned with Mr. Oliver, not, however, until her husband promised her to come home the last of this month, but after she had come back she received a letter from him saying that he could not come home for there was so much sickness among the soldiers that he was needed there.

They say that Dr. Young loved another young lady but she jilted him and he then married his wife out of pique, it is also said that he neglects. I am very sorry if this is true, Mrs. Young seems devotedly attached to her husband, speaks of him with great fondness; she is a very pleasant lady; is boarding at Mr. Oliver’s this summer, said that I had been so kind to her in going to Vicksburg and during her brief stay there that she wished to continue our acquaintance and would come to see me soon, I hope she will; she joined the society today.

We have no work as yet, will probably have some at the next meeting; Mrs. Gainey gave us ten dollars today and also brought four pair of socks, Mrs. Friend sent twelve pair of socks.

Mother received a letter last night from Miss Stewart, she showed me the back of it this morning and asked me if I could guess who it was from. I could not, and she told me, I was never more perfectly surprised I had given up all idea of hearing from her again, she says in her letter that she answered Mother’s letter saying that if we could make her only tolerably comfortable she would accept or the situation; but she directed her letter “Lynhurst” and consequently we never received it; she is now teaching in Vicksburg but her engagement will expire in September and she is then willing to come to us, that is if we have not filled the place. Mother is going to open negotiations immediately; oh! I do hope that she will prove to be a superior teacher and that we will be able to engage her, I must learn something soon I am fast approaching young lady hood and I am very ignorant.

Father has just come, we have been sitting up for him, I must now retire.

Friday, Aug 9th.

Mrs. C. G. Young and Carrie came over yesterday evening. Mrs. Nobles and her daughter Anna also came in. Mrs. Nobles says that Miss Julia Wilson has been quite sick with the fever.

Since the rain we have had very cool evenings and mornings, but at noonday it is quite warm, while I write (2 o’clock) the thermometer is a 97�. This morning when I went to ride this morning it was delightful, the fresh, cool air swept through the woods with that swift rustle which always reminds me of Autumn.

Saturday, Aug. 10th /

I have just found the following beautiful poem in the Monroe Intelligencer, as the paper is Dr. Young’s and I cannot cut it out I copy it here.

Rock me to sleep.

Backward, turn backward, Oh Time! in your flight
Make me a child again — just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoeless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrow of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hairs
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, O swift tide of years!
I am weary of toil, I am weary of tears:
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,
Take them and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of throwing my soul-wealth away,
Weary of sowing for others to reap
Rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep!

Over my heart in the days that are flown,
No love like Mother-love ever was thrown:
No other worship abides and endures,
Faithful, unselfish and patient like yours;
None like a Mother can charm away pain
From the sorrowing soul, and world-weary brain;
Slumber’s soft calm o’er my heavey lids creep —
Rock me to sleep, Mother, — rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow — , the base, the untrue:
Mother, O Mother! my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between,
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain
Long I tonight for your presence again;
Come from the silence so long and so deep —
Rock me to sleep, Mother — rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold
Fall on my shoulders again as of old
Let it fall o’er my forehead tonight,
Shielding my eyes from the flickering light —
For oh! I with it’s sunny-edged shadows once more,
Happily will throng the sweet visions of yore:
Lovingly, softly, it’s bright billows sweep —
Rock me to sleep, Mother — rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear Mother, the years have been long
Since last I was hushed by your lullaby song;
Sing, then, again! — to my soul it shall seem
Womanhood’s years have been only a dream;
Clasped to by your arms in a loving embrace
With your soft light lashes just swooping my face:
Never hereafter to wake or to weep —
Rock me to sleep, Mother — rock me to sleep!

Sunday, August 11th / 61 —

We could not go to Sunday School this morning, it rained from daylight to nine or ten o’clock, it was quite a dissappointment but I have been able to pass the morning as profitably as I would have done at school.

Miss Mary had another chill this morning, she was perfectly discouraged, had not any control over her feelings but exclaimed that she should die if she remained here during the summer, she had a slight dumb chill day before yesterday, and was imprudent in leaving her bed this morning, she has almost recovered from the effects of the chill now and is talking and laughing in the other room, though she is still in bed. Rose is much better, has sat up for some time today.

Sylvia had a child born yesterday, a boy.

It is quite warm today in spite of the rain. I do not think it can have cleared off yet.

I think I am passing, I might say have passed, through an ordeal lately, the ordeal of selfdenial in the greatest of luxuries to me, This is occasional privacy and quiet. I used to think when we first came here that it would be almost impossible for me to live as we have lived in constant society with one another and almost constant noise.

I hope I do not speak presumptuously or irreverrently when I say that strength has been given me from above to bear this trial, unusual mental peace and thankfulness and faith have blessed my endeavours after patience, and I now rarely or never feel inclined to murmur, it has been a great blessing to me in teaching me self-control in little things, self-control in great things I learned before, but have never been sufficiently watchful over the “little foxes”; yet let me not exult before the day of trial is passed, let me bear in mind the apostolic injunction “Be not highminded but fear”, to be constantly fearful of sin is the only way to guard against it.

Friday, Aug. 16th/ 1861 —

The days have passed in their usual routine all the week. Father left us for Vicksburg Monday but returned Wednesday night. Miss Mary has had two chills this week, one Tuesday and one yesterday, she is very weak today, looked almost as badly as she did after her first attack. We have had very cool weather this week, yesterday was a delightful day, Father and I went to Monroe yesterday. Miss Puss and Miss Hannah Bry went with us, we went in to attend the meeting of the Monroe society, we went to Mrs. Roane’s and asked her to accompany us and then repaired to the meeting, where we remained until one o’clock, we then returned to Mrs. Roane’s and spent the rest of the day there, we did not come home until after the cars arrived, so that we had a moonlight ride, the day was very pleasant indeed.

Mr. Robt. Green and his company leave for Virginia today, The employees of the Southern road presented Mr. Green with a very handsome sword before he left.

Father is at home today, he is having the sills of the house placed, the house will occupy much more room than I at first thought, it takes up almost the whole of our little hill.

Wednesday, August 21st/61 —

So quietly do the days pass that the record of one may almost suffice for that of another. Father left, for Vicksburg Monday, we expect him back tonight.

We have all been picking lint this week, and have filled two good-sized boxes; Miss Mary and I went over to Mrs. Parks’ Monday evening, learned how to card, it is very hard work and my hands are nearly blistered, and my arm quite lame.

Mrs. Marks spent the day with us yesterday, and we all worked together, Miss Mary and I tied up our heads, but Mrs. Marks did not, and her hair is full of lint; it flies about so, all over the floor and our dresses.

Misses Puss and Hannah Bry were up to see us Monday evening, they are very pleasant indeed.

The weather has been rainy or cloudy all the week, yesterday it was quite warm.

We have heard of victories won by our soldiers in Western Virginia, Missouri and Texas. It is reported, and believed, that at Leesburg three hundred Federalists were killed and the rest (one thousand five hundred) taken prisoners; in Missouri Gen’l Lyon is killed and Siegel reported wounded. I hope all these good reports are true, it is almost incredible that at Leesburg only six of our men were killed and nine wounded.

I forgot to mention that Father called upon Miss Stewart while in Vicksburg, she is forty or fifty years old, rubs snuff and pets a lap dog, the first is no objection but the last two are. Besides this, she never stays in one place longer than six months, this last would deter us from engageing her, as we wish a permanent teacher.

Mr. Barron has reccommeded another Miss Stuart to Father, I am to write to her this evening, but do not feel much confidence in the reccommendation.

Wednesday — August 28th/61 —

Willie, Miss Mary, and Rose have all been sick since Sunday, Willie was taken with a chill Sunday, but has not had any since, he is walking about today, but looks badly.

Miss Mary has been very sick, she too had a chill Sunday, and another Monday. She is very very weak, and her face, hands and whole body are painfully thin. Mother sent for Dr. Whyte yesterday morning, he prescribed the invariable calomel and quinine, she is somewhat better this morning, but is utterly prostrated, she will never get well until she has a change of air and scene. I think this attack was brought on by exposure, Friday afternoon she went out to ride on horseback with three or four girls and boys, it was very damp, but the girls came for her, and she wanted to go so much that Mother could not refuse her; it was the first ride she had taken this year and she went four or five miles, then she came home she had a boisterous dance until dark. Then again Saturday evening we took tea at Mrs. Noble’s with a party of girls and boys, and after playing in the yard for some time, came home after dark, it was not raining but was cloudy; and the damp air, together with such an unusual amount of violent exercise was too much for Miss Mary in her weak state.

Rose has had an attack of common chills, she has missed the chills today and will probably be up this evening.

Father left for Vicksburg Monday afternoon. we expect him back tonight.

Rain, rain, I sometimes think it will never stop, it rained all last week, we had a short respite Sunday morning but the rain commenced in the evening and continued steadily all night, Monday morning it “held up” for a few hours and we hoped it would clear off but it commenced again and rained all night. Yesterday was a regular rainy day, no cessation, and the air was raw and chilly, last night a continuous dropping, this morning after breakfast we hailed the bright sunshine with delight but a brisk shower quenched our hopes, now the sun has come out again, and as it seemed to be growing brighter I think it may clear up. Our house leaks all over, in some places the floor is beginning to mildew! every thing is damp, and the mould is constantly accumulating on books and boxes, every night this week I have been awaked by the rain dropping on my pillow and have laid down again with a wash basin at my head to catch the water. Father took a great deal of trouble to get cypress boards so as to have the roof tight, but they were too thin and have all split.

Mother and I sewed for the soldiers yesterday, we made three flannel shirts, with Emmeline’s help in the evening.

Mother and I are knitting woolen socks for the soldiers, Mother has begun her second pair, but I have not finished my first one yet, it is the second sock I ever knit.

The three victorys I spoke of have been confirmed, we are on the rapid road to success

Friday, September 6th/ 1861 —

Since I wrote last Miss Mary has entirely recovered from her attack. Willie had another chill Wednesday night and a fever last night, he is up today, but looks rather like an invalid. Our society met yesterday, we gave out a good many shirts to make and also a basket of yarn, every body seems desirous to do their part of the soldier’s work. Mrs. Cauthorn and Mrs. Dillard came home to dinner with us.

Monday, Mrs. Noble, Mother and I went up to the meeting of the society at Zion Hill six miles from here, but they had changed the day of meeting and we went up to Mrs. Bennett’s house, we had never seen her before, but her daughter, Miss Newcomb, is the secretary of the society, and Mrs. Noble had been invited there, they received us very cordially; Mrs. Bennett is from the vicinity of Milledgeville, she and Mother had many acquaintances in common. The Bennetts have been here twelve years.

Miss Newcomb is a very nice young lady, she showed me her scrap book, herbarium, and many other little treasures. Mother spent the day with Mrs. Bry Tuesday. Wednesday she and Mrs. Cauthorn went into Monroe.

Father left for Vicksburg yesterday; we expect him back tonight. Yesterday evening Carrie Young invited me to go to ride with her we went in her buggy.

We have had warm weather lately, it has not rained this week.

Sunday, Sep. 15th/1861 —

I cannot help feeling sad this evening, Oh when we think what may be before us, how can any of us be aught but sad. Father, Mother and Major Bry have just walked over to Dr. Young’s who returned from Virginia Thursday night.

Dr. Young is in high spirits and expects that we will be victorious and that soon; but oh if we are, how many many bleeding hearts will that victory cost! I sicken at the thought.

Father and Major Bry think that the war will continue through Lincoln’s administration, but I pray that God in his mercy may avert this trial, I have never contemplated a long war, I have steeled myself to bear great and bloody battles and, many privations and even suffering for a little while, but four long years of war, of suspense which is worse than defeat almost; my heart sinks, my courage utterly fails; can I bear it? but why speak thus, I know I must bear it, and it only rests with me to decide whether I shall bear cheerfully or repiningly. I hope I may be enabled to be cheerful, and I sometimes think I can be so, but there are moments of darkness, in which I cannot think of the brightness which is often hid by clouds, and waits but for the stormy wind to scatter them and make its glory apparent. Oh, that I might have grace given me to wait on the Lord’s good pleasure, I am too impatient, and I sometimes fear that God has wholly withdrawn his countenance from me, else I should not so rebel against his chastisements.

I think too much of my sorrows and too little of my blessings, truly God has been very kind to me, and though he has sent trials to me, yet how do I know but that if it had not been for them I should never have tested the sweetness of God’s mercy.

Father has been sick since I wrote last, he was caught in the rain last Friday night, and took a chill, he was quite sick, but was able to leave for Vicksburg on Thursday, he returned last night. Father was unfortunate on his journey home at one of the stations he met with a very bad man, who opened a conversation with him about some cattle which had been killed on the road, and for which Father had refused to pay an exorbitant price, after speaking a few words Father walked off, where upon the man followed and used exceedingly abusive language to him, he continued this language until Father forgot himself and, turning back, slapped the man upon the face in the scuffle which ensued the man bit both Father’s thumbs, and scratched his face, it the first fight Father ever had, and this in his forty seventh year.

Little Jim is now quite sick, we called in Doctor Whyte Friday, he said that if had been suffered to run on it would have terminated in Typhoid fever.

Miss Mary, Eva, and I passed the day at Mrs. Bry’s yesterday, in the evening we went to Monroe for Father.

I have been very busy this week, have knit a pair of socks. How many more will I knit before the war closes? I am afraid I shall have time to get accustomed to it before I cease, my hand is now quite lame from constant knitting.

Saturday, Sep. 21st/61 —

Father and Miss Mary and both sick again, Father went to bed Thursday and has not been up since, he insisted at first that all he needed was rest and would not let Mother send for the doctor, but yesterday he consented, and Mother sent; Dr. Whyte says that Father has only a slow fever, but that he has needed medicine for some time; he left calomel and quinine. Father is very weak, but feels a little better this evening.

Miss Mary had a slight chill this morning, and has had fever ever since, as usual she is exceedingly nervous and very much discouraged. Little Jim has been up for two or three days, he is now quite well.

Miss Mary and I spent Monday at Mrs. Noble’s, we were invited there to meet Mrs. Richardson (Mrs. Noble’s niece) and her children. She is a very pleasant lady, and we enjoyed the day. Yesterday Misses Puss and Hannah Bry and Carrie Young spent the day with us, I should have enjoyed myself very much had I not had a headache and been almost incapacitated for enjoyment of any kind, in the afternoon a very heavy rain came up, our house leaked all over, and was kept constantly moving out of the rain.

This morning it cleared off cool, the air is rather damp, and it has seemed like a real Autumn day, we must expect many such days now, Autumn is really here, many of the leaves are turning and some of the black gum trees are almost bare.

Mrs. Noble has resigned her position as President of the society, and last Wednesday Mother was elected in her stead.

I have neglected my journal very much lately, not because I did not wish to write, but because I have not felt justified in taking the time. I have been so busy knitting and sewing that I have not had a moment to spare; the week and months pass before I am aware, and yet, when I look back it seems a long and weary time, the events of last month seem to have taken place almost a year ago.

I have not written one very important thing, Uncle Dole has a baby, a little girl, she is seven weeks old; Aunt Satira thinks her beautiful. Aunt Mary writes that she and Grandma are knitting for the soldiers. I received a letter from Miss Valeria night before last, they have all had chills, sometimes four or five in bed at once; John and Angus have gone to a military school in Nashville, Tenn.

I have been so busy that I have not had time to mention in my journal the burning of Mr. Water’s house at Amite by some companies of the Polish Brigade which were encamped there, the soldiers had annoyed Mr. Waters very much by stealing his fruit and breaking his trees, notwithstanding he freely gave to them when asked; at last he threatened to shoot them, and finding them in his field one day, he shot at two of them, not intending however to do more than frighten them, as it happened, he killed one and wounded another, when it was found out many of the soldiers were greatly enraged and coming to his house razed it to the ground, in spite of the efforts of the officers and a few of the men. They broke down the fruit trees and fences, burned the barns, and store room, and demolished a year’s provisions. Mr. Waters preserved his life by flight, while the ladies of his family remained all night surrounded by the ruffians, they providentially escaped unhurt. Miss Calwell wrote me a full account of it, in her words Mr. Waters is ruined. They must be in great distress, as he can get no employment, and he had, no property except his house in Amite.

Miss Valeria says that the people of Amite were in terror lest they should burn the town before they left, there was one company, the Gross Tete Guards, which guarded the town several nights. This is a dreadful tale too tell of our own soldiers, there is but one consolation and this is that they are not our own countrymen, they are, most of them, the low, foreign population of New Orleans. Our country soldiers are many of them accomplished gentlemen, and all are men of humanity and honesty.

The night is coming on, in darkness and gloom, the sky is grey, and cold, and the north wind sounds drearily, this is one of “the melancholy days, the saddest of the year”, our indoor scene is not one to raise the spirits, and when we seek refuge in thought we but increase the gloom. I would not allow weather or privations to sadden me, but I can scarce bear up against sadness when I seen Father and Mother so depressed, Father is so sad. We must try and remember that “though sorrow may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning”.

Friday, Sept. 27th / 61 —

Oh it is cold very cold for September, last night the wind whistled round the house like winter. Pa is having a clay chimney built today. We are going to have a fire in it tonight, it will be so delightful, this morning we all went to breakfast wrapped up in blankets, Father has been wearing a blanket in the form of a poncho all day. Yesterday we all went chinquapen hunting, Misses Puss, Hannah and Florence Bry; Katie and Wiley Noble, Carrie, Adam, Willie and Charlie Young; and all our family except Georgie and John. We went in the great lumber wagon with four mules, carried little Jim and Eldridge along; we went first to Mr. Nash’s place, where we found “ever so many” chinquapens, and then to Mrs. Phillips’ place, which Carrie said was much prettier to gather them. We ate our dinner there; under some beautiful beech trees, on the slope of a hill where the ground was all covered with green grass and dry pine straw, and where we could get plenty of water from the spring near by; every body was in good spirits and we enjoyed ourselves very much, we did not gather more than two hours and we had over a bushel of chinquapens when we came to divide them.

We came home before sunset, a long time, but as we carried every body home we did not arrive such before dark; we had two flags in the wagon, and hurrahed at every house we passed, some of the people thought we were soldiers and came way out to the road to see.

Mother and Father went to Monroe yesterday and took Georgie with them. Miss Mary had a chill Monday; and Willie had one Tuesday. Father is improving, but very slowly.

Mrs. Batchelor spent the day with us Tuesday, she is a lady teacher who is spending her vacation near here, Mother went to see her the other evening, and invited her spend the day with us, with a view of forming an opinion of her as a teacher. I think her very pleasant and sensible, should be pleased if we could engage her; she has never taught in a family and is undecided as to whether she would like it.

The sun is near it’s setting and I am beginning to feel cold, I must go and see how the chimney gets along.

Monday, October 7th/ 1861 —

I have waited until the seventh day of the month has almost past to write in my journal. The past week has been a busy one to me. Almost every day I went visiting. Tuesday Mrs. Cauthorn and Miss Puss Bry spent the day with us, Wednesday our society met, and I spent the morning at the Church, Thursday I spent at Major Bry’s. Friday I went up to the meeting of the Summerfield society, I went on horseback with Capt. Marks and Miss Phoebe Friend, and enjoyed myself very much, Saturday I went to walk with the Misses Bry, started right after dinner and did not get home until nearly dark; besides all this I have scalloped two flannel skirts, knit half a sock for John and written one whole morning, and I have been labouring under a severe cold nearly all the time.

This morning I have been very busy compiling society reports, a work of considerable labour since all the donations with their donors must be put down, and to omit a single pair of socks is a great negligence. I went over my minutes five or six times to see that nothing had been left out and then compared tables and amounts until I was heartily tired; but it is all done now, and I can feel a little better contented, this reason of all this trouble is that our society has separated from the one at Monroe, and I wished to make out a report of every thing we had done.

Father has been improving slowly since I wrote last, he is still weak, he went to Vicksburg Wednesday and was very much fatigued when he returned home, he and Mother have gone to Monroe today.

Mrs. Batchelor has taken the Academy in Monroe, so that hope is past; we have written to two other teachers.

A great calamity befel Uncle Moses the other day, on last Wednesday the temporary scaffolding around his bridge fell down and killed one of his workmen, besides wounding one or two.

The weather is quite cool now, we had some very warm days last week, but it rained last night and is momentarily getting colder.

We go on another great chinquapen hunt tomorrow.

Saturday, Oct. 12th —

We took our chinquapen hunt as we contemplated, had a very pleasant time. Father went with us and Charley went to shake the trees, we walked there and back again and gathered chinquapens all day, we were very tired when we got home. Carrie Young did not go, she could not have walked, Mrs. Marks, Misses Puss and Hannah Bry and Florence stayed to supper with us. While we were talking after supper Mrs. Bry sent up word to Miss Puss to ask of she was coming home that night, Mrs. Bry had been very uneasy about them, and thought they were lost in the woods.

The Brys moved to Monroe yesterday, we were sorry to lose their company — are going to move down to their house Monday.

Mother was threatened with a raised breast day before yesterday, she took a violent cold, and increased it by going to the society, she is up today, Miss Mary had a chill Wednesday, another Thursday and another yesterday, she missed it today and has been up all the afternoon.

Miss Newcomb and her sister Miss Bennett spent the day with us Wednesday, I was very glad to see them, Miss Bennett is pleasant, but I do not like her so well as Miss Newcomb.

The weather is very pleasant now, cool and clear, this morning it was very cold, but it is warmer now.

Lynhurst, Oct. 16th/61 —

We have moved; our fifth move since leaving Georgia has been completed we shall have to make one more, and I hope that will prove the last. We commenced moving Monday, and all slept here last night. I came down early yesterday morning and remained all day, putting things in order as they were brought down, it was a dull, leaden day, and about dusk it commenced to rain, there had been no time to bring a load of wood, and when the night came on, cold and damp we had only a few sticks to make a blaze in the chimney, still the neat blue carpet on the floor, the white beds, mahogany stand and rocking chairs drawn close to the fire-place made a homelike picture as seen by the mild light of the Kerosene lamp. I was tired and Mother was nearly sick with the colic, we had to sit for Father and Miss Mary who had gone to Vicksburg. The heavy rain pouring down on the roof was no pleasant reminder of their cold ride home, and although I read aloud from the fascinating Conquest of Peru the hours wore away heavily till the rumbling of the carriage wheels announced their coming. They were both wet, having crossed the ferry in the rain, and our little fire was not a sufficiency for them, however, we soon went to bed, and I at least, forgot my cares (?) in sound refreshing sleep.

When I rose this morning my limbs were very stiff but this soon wore off. I have spent a very quiet day, unpacking and arranging my writing materials, looking over my papers to select a piece for Miss Puss Bry’s Album, writing letters, and writing my journal; besides putting away clothes, and sundry other little things.

Father is President and Superintendant of the railroad, I suppose it was necessary he should be, but if it could have been avoided it would have been a great pleasure to me, now he will have to be away from home a great deal. I am sorry too on Dr. Young’s account, it deprives him of his situation.

I went to Church Sunday at Chapel Hill.

Saturday Oct. 19th/61 —

When I wrote last I forgot to say that we have had quite a naval victory on the Mississippi; last Saturday commodore Hollins made an attack on the Blocading vessels with six boats, having in all only sixteen guns and three hundred men, he had an old steamboat all encased in iron, as a sort of battering ram, this boat was called the Mannassas, it ran into one of the largest ships and sank it, the rest of the blockading fleet were very much frightened, several vessels got aground; our boats took one Schooner loaded with coal; more vessels would probably have been sunk, but for a disarrangement in the machinery of the “Manassas” caused by the violence of the shock. We rejoice greatly over this victory, it seems as it the United States must soon see the folly of their present course and grant us peace.

Father, Mother and I went into Monroe Thursday, Georgie went with us, he had his hair cut off, I could not bear the idea of having it cut, but he did look very cunning after it was done, he looks so much like Willie now, he is delighted with the idea of having his hair cut like Father’s thinks himself entirely above wearing frocks any longer.

We went to the sewing society, to Mrs. Roane’s Mrs. Bry’s and to Mrs. Steven’s to dine. While we were waiting on the steps of the society room for the carriage to come from the barber shop, Mrs. Calderwood and Miss Hanna being the only ladies left there, Mrs. Calderwood asked Mother to go over to her house and wait there for the carriage, she urged her invitation and we accordingly went over. She regaled us with pears, apples, and Pecans and when Father came for us, bade us goodbye with many courteous invitations on each side.

We found Major Bry’s family very well, all were at home except Miss Hannah, who was at Cottonport with Mrs. Cauthorn.

Aunt June was quite well. I think Miss Mary Stevens, Mrs. Steven’s neice, a very pleasant young lady I hope to form her acquaintance upon a more extended scale.

On our way home, we stopped at Mrs. Maguire’s she is Judge Lemie’s sister, a very pleasant lady, has been living at her present residence forty years! this of itself is enough to render her interesting in this country where almost every one has recently moved here.

We have had very disagreeable weather, it commenced raining Thursday night, and has been either raining or misting ever since. The sun came out this afternoon, and it seems to have settled into cold weather.

Father has come from Monroe.

Saturday, Nov. 2nd/1861 —

Father left home a week ago last Monday for New Orleans, we have missed him very much indeed. This past week has been a very busy one, with us, Mother has been making two or three winter dresses and altering some old ones, I made a dress for myself this week, it is only the second one I ever made. I have been very busy sewing every day and this morning I worked too, this evening I have been writing some letters.

Mother is weaning John, poor little fellow, he does not cry much, but looks so pale and pitiful, he is fonder of Mother than he was when she nursed him.

This evening a man, his wife and child came here to know if they could stay tonight, they had moved from Mississippi and came out from Monroe in a hack, they had applied at several places for a night’s lodging, and had been refused, Mother could not turn them off, she told them they could stay until Monday.

Last week we had delightful weather, neither very warm nor cold, the last day or two it has been really cold, this morning there was a heavy frost on the ground.

Poor Willie had a chill last night, he has been up all day today, but looks badly.

Monday, Nov. 11th/61 —

Father returned home last Tuesday night, and left for New Orleans again this morning, he went to Monroe every day last week, except one, so that we had no pleasure of his society, in this way we must expect to spend the winter.

Willie had a chill last night, he is almost discouraged, and no wonder, he has been having chills now since last summer.

John has been quite sick, he still looks as white and fragile as a lily, but his eyes are very black, and shoot glances of fire at any one who crosses him, he will not be petted by any one but Mother, I scarce dare to speak to him or look at him.

We all went to Church, yesterday, morning, heard a very excellent sermon, though not a polished one, one comparison struck me as particularly just and original, in illustrating the Providence of God the minister said “God’s Providence may to likened, to a very long chain, which stretches from the creation of Adam to the end of time, to make you understand more clearly, suppose I had a very long chain, and should fasten one end of it on this earth, and should hitch the end to the farthest off star that the best improved glasses have ever enabled man to discover, and suppose that each link of that chain were so small that it could just be discerned by the natural eye, and suppose you could only see one of those links at a time, then you would see a far greater portion of that chain than any one man sees of God’s Providence during his whole lifetime!” was ever the most polished rhetoric more impressive than these energetic words.

Mr. Pierce came over to see us in the afternoon, he says he has not had a chill in more than two weeks, Willie prophesied that he would have one soon. The weather is very warm, while I write I am in a perspiration, and this on the tenth of November, the warm breezes are sending thousands of dead and dying leaves to the ground, and it seems strange to look out on the brown woods, a few days ago clad in gold color and crimson, and now so changed, but one thing remains steadfast, the unchanging pine still rears it’s dark green head, withered neither by frost or heat.

Aunt Jane and Miss Mary Stephens spent the day with us Saturday, I was glad to see them.

Wednesday, Nov. 13th —

I have been busy writing all day, and feel quite tired, but must write a few lines in my journal.

Eva and I are quite alone this evening, Mother has gone to Mrs. Axley’s and the children are out gathering hickory nuts. Eva is almost sick with a cold. Misses Joe and Phoebe Friend spent the afternoon with us yesterday, Carrie Young and Mrs. Cloud also called.

I received a letter from Miss Valeria. yesterday, she says Angus has been very sick since leaving home. — It is still very warm.

Friday, Nov. 15th —

This is the fast day appointed by our President to pray for a continuance of those blessings which God has thus far bestowed upon us. I could not go to Church this morning as the Church where meeting was held today is four or five miles distant, and Willie could not spare the mules for us to go. I have not eaten any meat or butter, however, and having been reading newspapers and knitting socks all day. Truly we have reason to fast and pray, for war now encompasses us on every side, and though God has thus far enabled us to ward off our enemies, yet we have much more to do ere we establish our independence.

On the 7th there was an attack made on our troops opposite Columbus, Ken. our force stationed there was very small, and being overwhelmed by superior numbers retired to the river bank and awaited reinforcements, these soon came, and charging the enemy forced them to fly in confusion to their transports, we gained a complete victory, although their numbers were superior to ours.

A part of the great northern fleet attacked the South Carolina coast on the 10th and took two of our batteries, they also gained possession of the small town of Beaufort and were expected to attack Savannah, but a large body of troops were ordered out to guard the city, and the railroad guns were mounted, and vessels sunk in the channels and it is thought that, should they attempt a landing they could not fail of being repulsed.

East Tennessee is reported to be in an insurrectionary state, several railroad bridges have been burned, and the country said to be in a state of great excitement.

The officers and crew of the privateer Savannah have been tried and found guilty of piracy, President Davis will fulfill his threat of retaliation, and the prisoners in our hands have drawn lots, if our privateers are hung; Col. Corcoran of the United States army, two Capts. and ten Lieutenants will suffer the same ignominious death; is it not horrible! every day increases my abhorrence of Lincoln and his parasites.

Fremont is withdrawn from the command of the western department, and Hunter appointed, great dissatisfaction is felt in the west, and it is said that threats are made of appointing Fremont military dictator of the West, a military dictator in the United States! a military dictator to rule over the race which produced a Washington! they are unworthy of the heritage of this name, his hallowed birthplace owns not their rule, henceforth Washington, the Father of our country, his memory, his virtue, his valor, they remain the heritage alone of his native state, and the fair sisters that with her form our youthful Confederacy.

Gen’l. Scott has resigned, but with what different feelings do we hear it than we did five months since, when every heart beat high with exaltation and every eye glanced proud welcome to the old soldier, faithful to his native land, when every Virginian as they met, each shook hands over the tidings, and every Church bell rang out a glad welcome, but we were mistaken, he was a traitor, and he is now fallen — below our indignation we look upon him with pitying, contempt, in all his pride of Generalship he has succeeded in wounding only himself, and as he has been able to do us no harm, so his resignation can do us no good. He has been careful in the terms of his with-drawal from active service to proclaim still a friend to his country’s foes, and as such all must regard him, a powerless friend, an equally powerless foe.

Nov. 16th, Saturday. —

Father came home last night, he is quite well. He brought a letter from Mrs. Aucorn, a lady teacher in New Orleans, who applied to Mother for a situation several weeks ago, she wrote stating the branches she teaches so candidly and her situation too, that Mother and Father concluded to take her. She is married and has two children, but her husband is in the army, and his pay is insufficient for their support. I am glad we have at last engaged a teacher, I feel that after the desultory life I have been leading lately, it will be hard for me to settle down, to my studies, but I feel that I am ignorant and I really want to learn, then too the other children must have a teacher, Miss Mary and Eva are fast growing up, and they scarcely know the elements of education.

The weather today is cool and cloudy, a dense fog settled last night before dark, and is just now clearing away.

Father has just left for Monroe.

Tuesday Nov. 26th/61 —

My seventeenth birthday; I cannot but think of my last birthday and the retrospection makes me sad, how many changes have taken place since then, how short the time seems, and yet in that short time our infant Confederacy has sprung up, where are now the enemies who boasted that we should be hushed into quietness as easily as the Mother hushes a fretful babe! there is much, very much to be thankful for, why does my heart ever cry more?

But my birthday has been very pleasant, and enlivened by an unexpected visitor, yesterday morning Lory came it and said that there was a buggy coming with a lady in black, and a negro man in it, we could not imagine who it could be, the lady stopped at the gate and Emmeline went down to see her, she soon came up, saying that it was a lady traveller who wished to stop eight or ten days, Mother exclaimed “We cannot take her in, our family is too large, we are expecting a teacher, and haven’t any room, go down and tell her I can’t possibly take her, show her the way over to Mr. Adams’ “ so saying Mother hurried out upon the piazza, but what was her horror to see the buggy driving off and the lady traveller walking up to the house. “What could Emmeline mean by letting the buggy go off, who knows who she might be,” but when the lady arrived about half way up to the house I heard Mother exclaim “isn’t that Mrs. Horne”, and, sure enough it was, we were very glad to see her; she and Mr. Horne had just come to Vicksburg to attend to some business and are going back to Georgia to spend the winter.

Major Bry spent the day with us Sunday, and Mrs. Bry and Misses Puss and Hannah came over in the afternoon.

Captain Smith, one of the directors in the railroad came down Sunday night, he went away, this morning, Father has been trying again to buy Mrs. Richardson’s place, he wrote up to Capt. Smith to try and buy it for him, but he could not succeed, he is now going to try and buy five or six acres to put the house on, it is not framed yet, and Father wants to move it over on the place we first selected, that is, if he can buy enough land to put kitchen and outhouses upon. The weather is quite pleasant now, it rained last night, and has been a little cloudy today.

Mrs. Marks is spending, the day with us, in honour of my birthday. Father and Mr. Horne went into town today.

Saturday, Nov. 20th —

Mr. and Mrs. Horne left us Wednesday, Father and Mother went into town with them, I spent the day at Mrs. Friend’s Wednesday and enjoyed it very well. I had sent word that I was going but the boy did not carry the message and they were not expecting me, they thought it was one of the children knocking and bade me come in very carelessly. I was very much surprised at this but entered accordingly. Misses Nancy Neal Joe, and Phoebe Friend were sitting around a quilting frame, their tongues keeping time to the motion of their needles, all except Miss Nancy destitute of the expansive appendiges hoops, they greeted me warmly, however, and we soon resumed the animated conversation which I had interrupted.

Mr. and Mrs. Friend soon entered, and inquiries about the health of our respective families having been exchanged, I was asked if I know how to quilt. I was obliged to confess my total ignorance of that female accomplishment, at the same professing my desire to learn. I was invited to take a seat at the quilting frame and immediately found to my great satisfaction that my quilting was unequaled in smallness of stitches, and the accuracy of the lines by any of my companions, though I must in candor say that while I was quilting one shell they had finished three! I always like novelty, and was very much pleased with my new accomplishment.

In the afternoon we walked over to see Miss Applewhite, who — with her Mother, Mrs. Simmons, lives very near the Friends. I found them at home and was soon on easy terms with Mrs. Simmons, whom I have met once or twice at the Society. She is a very neat, pleasant lady, and her daughter a modest, pre-possessing girl. Mrs. Simmons was carding cotton rolls; my experience about carding lint had been very favourable, and begging the use of her cards for a few moments I made half a dozen very good rolls with a little instruction from her, the good lady was pleased to say that she had no doubt I could learn to spin in a very short time. After staying about two hours, we returned to Mrs. Friend’s and Willie being there waiting for me, we mounted our horses and came home; here let me remark that it is no pleasure for me to ride Railroad any more, he is as lazy as he can be and stumbles nearly every step, he nearly fell down with me Wednesday.

Father left us for New Orleans Thursday, he will bring Mrs. Aucoin back with him, that is, God willing.

Willie had a chill Thursday, it was very slight however. Today is very pleasant, considerably colder than it has been for several days. —

Mother and I went over to Mrs. Drake’s Thursday. Mrs. Anding was over here this morning. Mr. Jones came down Thursday, took Dave home with him.

I am reading “Woodstock” aloud, and Miss Mary is here begging me to go and read it to her, so I must not write any longer. —

Saturday, Dec. 7th/61. —

Father returned last night but did not bring Mrs. Aucoin with him, one of her children was taken very sick and of course she could not leave it, she wrote saying that she thought perhaps it’s sickness had been sent as a warning to her not to leave her children.

While Father was in the city he went to see a Miss Hokerno, a jewess, who once taught in Major Bry’s family, she is an excellent teacher, but her salary is one thousand dollars. Wednesday was society day, we went, but there were but ten members present. Mother and I spent Thursday with Mrs. Marks.

Mr. Pierce spent Sunday with us. Mother, Miss Mary, Willie and John expect to leave for Amite Monday.

This evening we had a very hard rain, but not of very long duration, it is still cloudy.

Miss Mary, Eva, Lory and I went up to Mrs. Britt’s yesterday afternoon to got some yarn which her daughters were spinning for Mother, it is about a mile and a half from here and the road is through the woods all the way nearly; just after we left the public road and were walking in a little path through the woods we saw a large black snake lying before us, just accross the path, we had nearly stepped on it when Miss Mary saw it, and we all screamed and ran back to the road. After we had run a few steps we heard a gun fire behind us, but were too much frightened to stop. Mr. Drake’s negro boy happened to be passing the road with a wagon and we called to him to come and kill it, we went back to show him where it was, but we found that the gun we heard was Mr. Drake’s, he happened to be hunting in the neighborhood of our path, he heard us scream, and coming to the place saw the snake, shot at it, and wounded it very badly, it managed to crawl to it’s hole; we were very much relieved and went on, but not as gayly as before; the children imagined that every leaf they stepped on would turn into a snake. Miss Mary and I tried to spin some at Mrs. Britt’s and succeeded tolerably well considering, it was the first time. Mrs. Britt showed us some very nice cloth which she had woven; she also gave us two fine Sweet potatoes apiece, to bring home with us. Every one of her children had on homespun dresses.

Father has received a letter from Captain Smith, Mrs. Richardson will not sell us the land.

Monday, Dec. 9th/61 —

They have all gone, they left just after dinner, poor little Georgie, he told Mother goodbye very courageously, but when he saw her get into the carriage he hid his face in my dress and could not help shedding a few tears, these however were dried before Mother drove off by the promise of some molasses candy with “pe corns” in it.

Even Father has gone, he was obliged to go to DeSoto one day this week and thought he had better go with Mother, so the children and I will be all alone tonight. How much I shall miss them! two whole weeks! but I shall have so much to think of that the time will pass more quickly.

Tuesday, Dec. 17th/ —

One week has passed since Mother left, and though each day has gone so quickly that I was not able to finish all I wished, yet it seems a long time since she went.

Father has been raising the house for a week past, and I have been up to the place one every day, except one, besides this I have Rose and little Jim to keep at work, and my anxiety for the children keeps me constantly looking after them; I have had company too; Misses Puss and Hannah Day spent Saturday with me, and Miss Puss remained all night, so I had to do the honors of the house to them, I enjoyed their company very well.

Then Sunday morning, Father was very much fatigued and after Miss Puss left he lay down on the couch and took a good nap. I brought Lory and George in the parlour and was amusing them by showing them some pictures, Eva was looking out of the window, — and she interrupted us by saying “who is that?” at the same time I heard a man’s step in the hall, I did not rise, thinking that it was Mr. Pierce, but Eva, who had gone to the door, startled me by exclaiming “Captain! no, Mr” — but before she had added the name I was at the door when to my perfect surprise who should I see but Mr. John Green, surprised though I was, for no one was further from my thoughts, I did not feel any more flurried than if he had come by appointment. I awoke Father out of his sound sleep, and before his eyes were well open Mr. Green had grasped his hand, and Father exclaimed “Mr. John Green! I am glad to see you here, sir”. Mr. Pierce entered a moment after and the conversation never flagged a moment till dinner. Now dinner is too important a matter with a young house keeper to be passed over slightingly and let me here confess that I should not have been near so well pleased with Mr. John Green’s visit if I had not recollected that I had chicken for dinner; was I not profoundly grateful that when deliberating in the morning upon the subject of economising and eating cow peas, I had thought to myself and said to Alice, “You know Mr. Pierce might come to dinner today, and I should hate to have no dinner”, notwithstanding that I had the rare luxury of Chicken for dinner I could not help being very anxious lest everything should not be nice, well! I sat down at the head of the table, and could not help smiling as I did so, though I have occupied the place of mistress of the house too often to feel much embarrassed in my position. I was helped to chicken, and it seemed to me that it was very insipid, I was afraid that Alice had made a mistake and my company would not relish their dinner. I knew that Mr. Pierce seldom eats more than sufficient for a bird to live on, so I turned my attention to Mr. John Green and while I listened or replied to some remark my eyes were more interested in observing the contents of his plate than in marking the lineaments of his face; but I had no cause for apprehension on this score, as he helped himself to gravy and rice he observed “Miss Sarah, camp life has not taken away my appetite”. I might have answered that I perceived it had not, and moreover, I might have added that I was heartily glad of it, but as may be conjectured I made some other reply. He looks very well indeed, I can scarcely believe that he has been through such hardships, he treated them very lightly, and spoke of them only in answer to questions. He said that it was true he had suffered one night when he was on top of a mountain with no blanket just after a snow storm. I should think so indeed.

The Battalion to which the Blues and the Madison infantry belong is now in Richmond forming into a regiment, it is reported here that they have gone into winter quarters.

Mrs. Marks leaves for Georgia Thursday, I am sorry she is going, she is an excellent neighbor; Father will accompany her as far as Canton so I shall have to spend two more nights alone.

We received a letter from Mother last night, Willie has not had but one chill since he left, Mother says he is enjoying himself, I do hope this trip will improve him.

The weather is delightful, has been ever since Mother left, last Wednesday we had a slight rain, and it turned very cold, it is warmer now.

Father went to bed an hour ago, and I should have been asleep ere this but my multifarious duties leave me no time for writing in the day, and thought I could not let my journal go any longer.

Tuesday, Dec. 31st/1861 —

I have neglected to write in my journal for some time, but on the last day of the old year I feel that I must write.

Mother, Miss Mary, and John returned home Friday night, the 20th; a little more than a week ago, Willie did not return until Sunday night, he has only had one chill since he came home, and that was on the same night, caused from riding in the cold air.

Mrs. Brantley and her son Green came down here a week ago Sunday (22nd), the old lady came to see Father on business.

We had a very pleasant Christmas; the day after Christmas day, Miss Mary and I fixed up a little pine tree as a Christmas tree, we had no costly gifts, but a few sugar plums in lace bags, and some home made Cornucopias with two or three little wax candles made the tree very attractive to the children. Father had a few fire works too which he had forgot to bring home Christmas eve, and we were delighted looking at them.

The negroes had a supper and dance up at the place and we all walked up to see them, Father was very much pleased to see them dance, and as their house was small and smoky so that we could not look on with any pleasure, Father had our long room cleared out and had them go in there and dance. We stayed looking at them till nine o’clock, and then walked home again.

Mr. Pierce took all his meals here after Christmas, until Sunday when he went back to the mill again.

Mother received a letter from Aunt Mary last week saying that she thought something of coming out this winter.

Aunt Jane has a little daughter born on the 16th of the month.

Mother, Eva, and I went into Monroe yesterday, called at Mrs. Steven’s, Mrs. Noble’s and Mrs. Roane’s and dined at Major Bry’s passed a very pleasant day. Aunt Jane looks very well, talks about the baby very naturally.

Father left for Vicksburg yesterday. Mrs. Marks left for Georgia the on the 19th. George has been quite sick with a cold, is getting better now. John has gotten very well. The weather is still delightful.

Old Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Temple are here, I must really go in the parlour, it is the first time Mrs. Adams has ever been here.

Lynhurst, Jan’y. 6th/1862.

We are having delightful weather now, we had a hard rain Friday night, and another Saturday, but Sunday it cleared off cool and pleasant.

Last week Miss Mary and I planted some Jasmine vines up at the place, they seem to be growing well, we look forward with pleasure to the Spring when our labour will be rewarded by their fragrant yellow blossoms. The house progresses slowly, it is now nearly all raised, and begins to look something like a house, Father has two negro carpenters to help Mr. Axley.

Friday night I had a most pleasant surprise. Father came home and said that Eldridge had a paper box on the waggon — marked for me. Of course we were all very curious to know who it could be from, and what could be in it. Uncle Jim was sent up to Mr. Axley’s to wait till the waggon came, and soon returned with it. When it was opened there lay a very pretty chair made of velvet, ornamented with ribbon and straw and the seat of which, being raised, showed a space nicely lined with flannel, it was a fancy jewelry box from Miss Valeria, she had it made for a Christmas present, and thought it might reach me by Christmas Eve, the taste and beauty of the chair would alone have rendered it acceptable, even had it not been a souvenir of affection from one whose affection I prize so highly, and made too by her own hands.

Father left for New Orleans yesterday, we expect him back Saturday night.

Saturday, Jan. 11th/62. —

Miss Mary, Lory and I have been very busy this week up at “the place”, we have been clearing out a path from the house to the hill back of it, where we design making a little jasmine arbour. We worked all day Wednesday, and Thursday and yesterday afternoon, clearing away brush digging up little stumps and planting violets, we are going to try and plant the jasmine vines today.

Mother received a letter from Mrs. Dwight (the last teacher we wrote to) accepting the situation and saying that she would leave New Orleans on Tuesday, she must have arrived at Monroe last night, Mother has sent in to see if she is there.

It is with mingled feelings that I see the teachers nearer approach, the predominant one is a desire to begin hard study, but then I cannot but remember how long I have lived a desultory life, it is almost two years since I have been under the direction of a teacher. I know that it will be exceedingly difficult for me to settle into the regular life of school, I am aware that during these last two years I have seen clearly my faults of temper, and I hope that some have been corrected, and their plate supplied by more desirable characteristics; but amid the few flowers rank weeds have begun to sprout, and it requires a daily exertion of self control to subdue that impatience of reproof or contradiction which I fear I can never wholly eradicate.

Wednesday, Jan. 15th/61 —

At length I am able to write “the teacher has come” and more than this, I can say that I like her very much. She came Saturday night with Father, and Monday she commenced teaching, but we have not yet settled into the regular routine of school, as our books have not come, and other things have prevented our being regular. Miss Mary and I are studying French together, and Mrs. Dwight says we do very well, Mrs. Dwight is fully competent to teach French, for she was born in France, and remained there studying under the best masters until she was twenty-one years old. She has been teaching more than ten years. She is forty-five years of age, has been married twice, and her second husband is still living, she has a daughter, a young lady who has also taught.

Mrs. Dwight is very tall, but well proportioned, with dark skin, dark eyes, and black hair, she speaks English perfectly correctly but with a slight accent, which at first makes her voice seem rather affected, she is very lady like, very cheerful, and has a good education, built upon the solid foundation of good sense and real literary taste.

Besides French I study Ancient Geography, Mythology, Rhetoric, Astronomy and am to take philosophy, physiology and arithmetic when the books come.

Sunday was a very warm day, but at night it became very cold, all day Monday it was cold and gray, snowed some about dusk, Tuesday colder and still gray, but this morning about eleven o’clock the sun shone out, and it has been getting warmer all day.

Monday morning we came in here for school, but it was so cold, and the change was so sudden that poor Miss Mary took a chill, it was slight, however, and went off, so that she could say her french lesson in the evening, but this morning she had another one before breakfast, it continued for nearly two hours, and she has been in bed all day, she is quite weak.

We have had a visitor nearly every day this week. Sunday Mr. Pierce, as usual, spent the day with us. Monday Mrs. Mason and Miss Puss Bry spent an hour or two with us in the morning. Mrs. Mason brought me a basket of beautiful Japonicas and hyacinths with some geranium leaves and periwinkles, the flowers are still quite fresh.

This morning Major Bry came in and dined with us. Before we had finished dinner Mrs. Craig and Miss Pamela Collins came in, Miss Pamela brought some money which she had had subscribed for the Society.

I received a letter from Aunt Mary tonight, they hope to start from Georgia by the twentytieth of this month, I do hope they will be able to come.

Willie has his hands at work clearing up the yard up at the place. I have not been up there since Sunday, I have been so busy studying that I have not had time. I should not have been able to write so long a “journal” this time, had it not been that I am sitting in the room with Miss Mary tonight, and have thus a very good opportunity of writing.

Saturday, Jan’y 25th/1862 —

Just two weeks since Mrs. Dwight came, the time has been in studying hard all day except a short time for a walk. I feel happy now it seems as if I was doing right.

Miss Mary is quite well again, is taking medicine though, to prevent any more chills. We expect Uncle David and family tonight, they were in Jackson yesterday, Father has gone in with the carriage. I am full of pleasurable anticipations. Weather delightful, cool but not freezing, the roads are good too, and it is Saturday night, just the right time for company to come, I have had time to get all my things in order. Miss Phillips and Carrie Young spent an hour or two with us this morning.

Saturday, Feb’y 1st/62 —

A week since I wrote, and now only to record a most astonishing event, Mr. Green spent the day with us, Mr. Robert Green; this morning Mother, Aunt Mary and I were sitting talking together when one of the children ran in calling out Captain Green is come! we knew that he was in Vicksburg, for last night Father came out and asked us to guess who was in Vicksburg. I soon thought of Mr. Green, but thought it was absurd to guess him; we were all very glad to see him, he was as usual, perfectly agreeable, left soon after dinner as he was riding Father’s mule, and must get in before dark, says he hopes to come back and see us again. —

I have been so busy enjoying myself for the past week that I have had no time for writing. Uncle David, Aunt Mary, Grandma and Hun and Kitty arrived last Saturday night, there has been no school this week, it has been so long since we have seen any of them that we could not do anything but enjoy their presence. The children have been in a perfect glee, have made noise enough to deafen me.

Willie has had the chills again this week, I feel so sorry for him.

Sunday evening, Feb’y 17th/61 —

Since Aunt Mary left my time has been so fully occupied that I have not had time to record their departure, they left a week ago last Wednesday. I was very sorry indeed to have them go, Father, Mother, and Eva went to Vicksburg with them, and it seemed very lonely; but we immediately commenced school again, and constant employment filling up my mind as well as time soon dispels loneliness.

We had had rainy weather nearly all the time Aunt Mary was here, and it only cleared off last week, Friday we had a snow, woke up Saturday morning and found the ground covered, but not so deep as to prevent roots and bushes showing, some rain had fallen on the snow, and, freezing, had made an icy coat, so that the snow was very slippery. Many a fall was gotten during the day, we all walked up to the place in the morning. I fell down just a few steps from the door but sent for my stick, and by using it, and stepping very carefully, walked safely to the place and back again.

Today the snow is melting, it is nearly all off the ground, but the housetops still look white, though it has been dropping from the eaves in a continuous stream since ten o’clock this morning.

Mr. John Green is to be married the 20th of this month; he wrote Father word, but did not say to whom.

Mr. Pierce spent the day here today.

Our house is progressing more rapidly now, it is nearly shingled and Uncle Tom is at work on a chimney, it begins to look as if it might be finished sufficiently for us to go in it by May.

Bad news from the war comes in upon us now, for the last week we have heard of continual successes of the federalists; they have advanced up the Tennessee river as far as Alabama; into North Carolina, and are preparing to attack as at Savannah and in Missouri, we are menaced on every side, but from what the later papers say, our troops are rallying to the threatened points, and ready to meet the invader. I hope and pray that they may drive back the vandal horde.

March 2nd/1862 — Sunday —

As yet we have heard of nothing but reverses, Fort Donnelson was taken by the 17th last month, since that Nashville has been surrendered by the civil authorities, and now Columbus is threatened by an army of 100,000 men, rumours are all around, we know nothing certainly except that the Yankees are advancing and our troops retiring, it is hinted that only enticing the enemy forward, I hope it is so. I cannot be sure of anything except that I would rather die than see our armies humiliated by flight, our country ruined by submission; submission! why do I speak that disgraceful word, why do I think it for a moment; victory, or death is our only alternative, worse than death would be our conquest by the Yankees, that is now the most hateful word in our language. Father has been in New Orleans all the week we expect him back tonight.

Friday was a fast day, the first act after President Davis’ inauguration as President of the permanent government was to appoint a day of fast and prayer, it was kept very strictly in Monroe, all the stores and other places of business was closed, and the Church was crowded, we fasted here, had no dinner at all, no meat for breakfast, school was also suspended. Mother and Grandma went into Monroe to attend Church, Grandma remained with Aunt Jane.

We received Mr. John Green’s wedding card today, his bride was Miss Skipwith of Mississippi.

We have been having delightful weather for the past week, yesterday, the first day of Spring, was bright and warm. I walked down to the bayou and gather some sassafras and haw flowers, the little violets are beginning to peep out in all directions, peach buds are about to burst, and nature all around prepares to burst her fetters.

This morning we were waked up by a severe hailstorm, it was of slight duration, and was succeeded by rain, it cleared off before dinner, and now the wind, whistling round the corners, the fires upon the hearths and the sounds of the axe at the would pile do not seem much like Spring. Vegetation not far enough advanced for this cold weather to do more than retard its progress. Among all the sad news we hear lately there is one thing which has not yet suffered reverse, this is the wonderful little Sumter, the exploits of the gallant Captain Semnes still call forth our admiration. Lincoln’s large, staunch war vessels cannot succeed in capturing the leaky little craft or prevent her destroying their laden schooners, first in one hemisphere then in the other, she carries her bright flag unsullied.

— Sunday evening March 16/1862 —

We still hear bad news, or at least we have heard of no decisive victory, there in a report that Gen’l. Price has defeated the Yankees in Arkansas, but everything about it is vague; one thing we are sure of, our battering ram, the Virginia sunk one of the blockading ships on the Potomac last week, and badly disabled two more, rumours of an approaching battle on the Potomac reach us, Virginia is under martial law, also Memphis and New Orleans; the whole country is excited, and every body astir, Two companies are forming here, to leave in the course of two weeks, Mr. Pierce has joined one of them, a cavalry company, he will go if he can get a horse.

John and Angus Ridgill leave for the war this month, perhaps have left already; John wrote to ask Willie to join them, Willie’s health was much better and he concluded to go, and wrote John word that he would, Father was away at that time, but has returned, he thinks of getting an appointment from Government, if he does he says Willie must stay at home, if he does not, he will wish Willie to go. I don’t know what to wish, I can’t bear the thought of Willie’s going away, and yet I am anxious for him to serve his country. I feel sad all the time, my only comfort is in my bible, where we are told that if we continue patient we shall at last be victorious.

When I think what a glorious cause we have or how much less we have suffered than other nations who were still victorious, I feel strengthened, but sometimes we cannot think of all this.

Father left us last Sunday intending to go to New Orleans and Richmond before he returned, but last night he came back very unexpectedly, he said that the heavy rain we had last week washed some of the eastern railroads so that he could not go on, so he thought he would spend Sunday with us, he leaves tomorrow again; he may perhaps be appointed by government to build forty miles of railroad as a connecting link between Selma and the Southern road; if he does he will be away from home all the year.

We received a letter from Captain Marks last week telling us what he wished for the company’s summer clothing, Mother is trying to get the cloth, we shall soon be very busy. We keep on studying steadily; I do not learn as fast as I wish, but I am too impatient; I do as well as I can expect, the weeks pass away so quickly it seems to me I do so little.

Sunday night. March 23rd/1862. —

We are sitting up tonight, thinking that perhaps Father may come, and as I am not sleepy I take the opportunity of writing a little.

When Father left, he expected to be gone three or four weeks, but was detained at DeSoto by the high water, the river has been rising for some time, and now threatens to overflow. Father wrote to Mother Friday saying that if he could arrange his business so he would come home and spend Sunday with us, he wrote again yesterday saying he could not leave as the water was over the track in some places, and we must not expect him till he wrote again, but Mother thought perhaps he might come tonight.

We have a very cold windy week, Wednesday night we had a perfect storm of wind and rain, many trees were torn up, and blown down, since that, we have an almost constant cold wind. Grandma spent the week in Monroe; came home today.

Willie had three chills this week, but he is taking Cholagoque again and will have no more I hope.

We have not yet heard any news of importance from the war. Mr. Pierce was here this morning, the company which he joined has broken up, he has not decided yet whether to join the other company which, is made up, or go and join the Blues.

Sunday, March 30th/62.

Father returned Wednesday night, but left again this evening, he has just gone. This time I hope he will not be delayed, for I hate to have his absence in anticipation; the river is now at a stand, I hope it will soon fall.

Major Bry and Miss Hannah spent the day with us, there is no news of importance from the war. Mr. Pierce is here this evening.

We have had delightful weather for the past week, everything looks lively and beautiful, nearly all the trees are dressed in tiny young leaves and the dogwood begins to look quite white, though the flowers are none of them fully matured.

Willie has not had a chill since Saturday, if he will only continue his cholagoque he will fully recover.

Angus and John Ridgill have gone to the war. —

April 13th —

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 our 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.

Sunday, April 20th —

The battle at Corinth was another added to our victories, but the work is yet but begun, ennemies threaten us on every side, and we must soon hear of another great battle. The Yankees have stormed and taken Fort Pulaski, and surrounded island No. 10 so that we surrendered. We daily of skirmishes, and an approaching fight in eastern Virginia, and of a threatened attack upon New Orleans; now we need bravery and coolness, and now I believe our rulers and our people art showing it.

Gen’l. Johnston was killed at Corinth, every one mourns him. The conscription law has been passed, and thirty days from the time it passed every male between eighteen and thirty-five years, not legally exempt, must be enrolled in defence of our cause. We are waiting anxiously for Father to return, it is three weeks tonight since he left, and we have only heard from him once; two bridges have been burned on the route, and Huntsville, Ala. is in the possession of the Yankees, so that he cannot come by the most direct way; Willie looks for him with much impatience, to decide whether or not he shall go to the war. Willie says he cannot stay at home; though if he applied he could easily get exemption from the conscript law on account of his arm and his ill health.

I hope the latter is getting better he has not had a chill in a long time. This has been quite a cold day, fires have been necessary for comfort, it rains a good deal last week and this morning cleared off cold, it seems as it we shall never have settled warm weather.

This is Easter Sunday, at the commencement of Lent the Yankee papers said that in forty days the stars and stripes should float over New Orleans, their boast has not been verified. God grant I may never see the day that such a thing shall happen!

Miss Mary’s and my little violet bushes bore their first flowers this week.

April 27th.

Father returned home last Wednesday night, we were rejoiced to see him, he had great difficulty in getting home, the roads were so crowded, he did not enter a passenger car from the time he left Jackson until he returned, at one time he found the train under the control of a regiment of South Carolinians, and he went to the Superintendant of the road, with whom he was acquainted, to try and get a passage, the Superintendent told him he might go if he could get in; so Father went back and crept cautionsly into the baggage car, where he was unobserved by the soldiers; but the Col. of the regiment was late, and when he came the conductor refused to run the train saying that there was danger of a collision, so Father got out as quietly as he got in, and waited till the next day, when they took the freight train schedule and went on.

We have just heard such sad news, there are thirteen of the Yankee gunboats moored at the New Orleans wharf, they have given the city four days in which to remove foreign property and residents, and women and children, the four days will be out on Tuesday, and what will happen then we cannot tell; some say the city will not resist, others that it will, the forts below the city are still in our possession, they keep the transports from ascending the river, they say that the gunboats came three abreast..

Gov. Moore is expected at Monroe. Father left this evening, if New Orleans is taken he will not go there, of course. Mother is busy making up Willie’s clothes, he expects to leave when Father returns, I sewed on his shirts yesterday, it is melancholy work, my heart sinks when I think of it, but I try to keep brave.

I received a letter from Miss Valeria day before yesterday, Mr. McNair was killed in the battle of Corinth; also Mr. Richarsdson, whom we met at Amite. Horace was killed in a skirmish on the peninsula, poor Horace, I had hoped he would live to redeem the errors of his early life, his officers spoke highly of him.

If New Orleans is taken the Yankees will probably soon have command of the river, I cannot bear to think of it. I wrote to Miss Valeria this morning, I felt as if I was writing a farewell, and now that the letter is gone, it seems as it I were cut off from her; never did I feel the value of her friendship as I do now.

Sunday, May 4th/62 —

Father has been away ever since last Sunday, he stayed at De Soto nearly all the week, and then went down the country in search of some government officers with he has business.

The river has risen so high as to cover nearly half the railroad, with its waters. The last we heard from New Orleans was that the Yankees had demanded its surrender, and that all the Confederate flags should be hauled down and the stars and stripes run up instead; Mayor Monroe said in reply that in compliance with his request Gen. Lovell had withdrawn his forces from the city as they could not successfully resist the enemy, that he (the mayor) was no military man, that if he had an army at his command it would be presumptuous in him to lead it to the field and that he knew still less how to surrender a city filled with women and children and unarmed citizens; the city was at their mercy, but that as to hauling dawn the flag of their adoption and substituting the hated one of their invaders, there was “not a man in his constituency so dastardly that his hand and heart would not be palsied at the thought of such a thing”, and in conclusion he said that he wished them to understand that “the people in New Orleans, while unable at this moment to prevent you from occuppying their city, do not transfer their allegiance from the government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated, and that they yeild simply in obedience to that which the conqueror is able to extort from the conquered”.

The Yankees had not entered the city, the forts below still held out, Commodore Duncan says that he will not surrender, so long as there is a “shot in the locker”. I hope he will keep his word, none of the enemy’s transports had passed up, and no more gunboats.

We heard yesterday of a battle at Yorktown, it was a dreadful battle, the dispatch said that we were in full pursuit of the Yankees, and that their escape had been cut off by the Virginia, but sad to tell Gens. Lee and Joe. Johnston were both killed.

General and President Davis was in command. A battle is daily expected at Corinth, both armies are concentrating their forces, and will move as soon as the weather allows roads to dry a little. We have had a very wet Spring, since May came in it has been very bright warm weather, however.

Sunday, May 18th/1862 — Oakland —

Our first sabbath in our new house, how still every thing is, the sawing and hammering is hushed, and from the grove we hear the twitter of birds mingled with the noise of chickens and occassionally the lowing of stock; how blessed is the sabbath, in it we leave the busy walks of life, in it there sometimes seems to shine a light like that which shone around Saul, and which makes our secret sins appear before us at the same time that it reveals the Saviour in all his beauty. I feel a calm today which is refreshing to me, for awhile the great sorrow of our times is partially lifted from my heart. I am afraid I have sinned in being too anxious about our future. I know I am not willing enough to submit to the will of God whatever it should be. I am too impatient and cannot wait for the bitter bud to unfold into the flower redolent with sweetness, but I will try and be more trustful.

We moved here Thursday, and ever since then I have been arranging my things, and getting ready to settle into our casual quiet study life, which we commence again tomorrow. Our home is so pleasant, and it is so delightful to be at home that I tremble sometimes lest it should be taken from us. I hope I shall in any case not love it so much as to forget that it is a home which is only to serve us for the brief period of our earthly life. We are very comfortable here, and we find it quite pleasant to live upstairs, as we do now; we have four large rooms, besides two large dressing rooms and a wide long hall, which is our sitting room, it has eight windows, four in each end, in one end we have a flower shelf in each window, on which we have placed our small collection of flowers. I transplanted my heliotrope Friday, it was growing beautifully and had a bud on it, but transplanting it caused it to wither, and I had to cut off many of the leaves, it has livened up a great deal today.

Miss Newcomb and Miss Bennet have been spending the last week with Carrie Young, I have seen three times, I was over there yesterday evening, the family were very much delighted by the arrival of their Uncle, Col. Young, from the war.

We have reason now to keep constantly in mind the transitory state of human affairs, and the need of a more stable hope for every day deepens the gloom hanging over our country. The victory which was reported to have taken place at Yorktown was only a false report, it is now said that Norfolk has Allen and that we have burnt the Virginia in order to keep her from falling into the hands of the Yankees, New Orleans is in their possession and their gunboats are coming up the river. It is reported that there has been a little battle in Virginia in which we were victorious, It now seem as if it would be a long time before we can have peace, I can bear it, so long as it bring us peace and liberty at last.

Father has been at home all this week, he is obliged to leave tomorrow. I dread to see him go, even for a day, how much more for such an indefinite period.

Willie has the chills again, he had one day before yesterday, it seems impossible for him to go to the war. Mother received a letter from Grandma Holton yesterday, it is very sad, Horace came out of the skirmish safe, but was killed by a sentinel whom he, himself, had put upon guard and told to shoot any one who came near. Horace passed by, and by some sad mistake the sentinel fired, and killed him immediately. Grandma writes that before his death he was much changed, and seemed very penitent for the errors of his youth. Bernard is worse.

Sunday, June 1st/62 —

This is the first day of summer, a summer which promises to bring sadness to us, evils thicken around, and the clouds are no longer gathering, they seem about to burst, God grant it may be with blessings, not with cursings. We hear news constantly of some weak rash act, some cowardice, some treason in our Confederacy. Our enemies seem to be gaining ground, but it may be a delusive dream but still I love to cherish, I believe we shall prevail, I believe that God has not, and will not forsake us.

The Yankee gunboats have commenced firing on Vicksburg, damaging some Churches, and private homes, but nothing more. Father brought home last night a sermon of Dr. Lord’s on the last infamous proclamation of the Yankee General Butler, it makes one’s blood boil to read it. Can we believe that such men will prosper?

The war and public matters occupy my thoughts so much that I scarcely think of noting down the events of our quiet life, this week, however, has not been so quiet as usual.

Monday, I spent the day with Miss Newcomb and Miss Bennett; found Carrie Young there, I enjoyed the day very much, brought home some flower roots and cuttings, and also “Evangeline” and Trelawny’s “Last days of Shelly & Byron”, the former I read yesterday, there are many beautiful passages in it; the latter does not deserve to mentioned in the same paragraph, it is, as far as I have gone, hardly worth reading Tuesday night Father came home, Thursday evening we went down to see the Misses Bry, who moved out this week.

This morning Major Bry, Miss Puss and her brother and sister came to see us. Yesterday evening we had quite a little tornado and a heavy shower. Mr. Bennett, who was on his way home from Monroe, stopped in from the rain, he In a very pleasant man, I gave him Jackson’s “Tallulah & other poems” to take to Mrs. Bennett, she is a Georgian, and every Georgian’s heart must warm over those poems.

Yesterday evening Father brought home a buggy, it is a very nice little one, and very convenient, it seems strange for us to have a buggy, we never had one before. Willie, Grandma and Georgie have gone down to the mill in it this evening.

Willie had a little flower bed fenced off for us, last week, and we have all been very busy in it this week, we have a good many cuttings in it, and some flower seeds planted.

Sunday night, June 8th/ —

Father left us this evening, he did not know exactly where he would go, or how long he would be gone he may possibly go to Richmond before he returns, every thing is uncertain.

Vicksburg still holds out. We have heard many reports, but do not know whether to believe them or not. There is report of a battle near Richmond in which we were victorious. Oh, if it is but true, they say also that Jackson has crossed the Potomac, and that the Marylanders are rising to throw off the Northern yoke. A gentleman of respectable and honest character, who has arrived at Monroe, says that that infamous proclamation of Gen. Butler’s was issued in consequence of the ladies of New Orleans have sent back the cards sent to them by Mrs. Butler! have Americans come to this? though his nation bears the detestable name of Yankee still I blush for them.

Thursday I rode Mollie for the first time. I can now mount her without fear, and am delighted with her. Miss Mary and Willie spent the day at Mrs. Noble’s yesterday. Uncle Moses and his family perfectly well.

July 13th/62.Oakland —

A month since I have opened my journal book! as I look back upon it, it seems an age, though the days and weeks pass as a dream; the times are feverish, and often my heart burns with anxiety and sympathy for our soldiers, our noble soldiers, yes I will say noble, for erring and violent as they often are, yet how many noble hearts are among them! Noble Vicksburg, I am proud of her, she still holds out, though the large Yankee fleet before the city is constantly bombarding her. Many of the buildings are injured and some in ruins, the Court house is still untouched. The Yankees have landed at De Soto and penetrated ten or twenty miles into the interior, they have seized the negroes from many plantations along the river, have about two thousand at work cutting a canal across the point opposite Vicksburg so as to draw off the river from that noble town, and thus ruin her prosperity. Their gunboats, too, want a safe passage up the river, and even their gunboats feel a slight distaste to passing Vicksburg.

There was a youth here today who carries the mail from here to the other side of the river, he goes on horseback, crosses when he can find the river free from Yankees, and changes his route according to circumstances, his recital of his adventures made me think of the old revolutionary times, he says that some of the negroes which the Yankees have, are very desirous to return home, they release them on Parole of honnour! one of the negroes who got away said that they never would catch him any other way but running, the negroes say that they have to eat in the ditch where they work and never come out except to sleep, when they are sick the Yankees send them off to a ginhouse near by and do not give them any medicine, many of them are taken with the sunstroke, they have a guard over every twenty four negroes. They have got the canal dug fifteen feet wide, and four feet deep, they cannot get the water to flow into it, the current is so swift; the river is falling fast. We have gained a victory in Virginia, we have not heard the particulars yet. It was reported that McClellan was captured, but that has been contradicted.

Mr. Dwight has been here since I wrote last, he came the 12th June, stayed two weeks, we were all very much pleased with him, he and Mrs. Dwight have bought a place about a half mile from here.

Misses Newcomb and Bennett spent the day with me Thursday. Many of the “summer people” are out here now, all the houses are occupied except Mrs. Drake’s, she is at her Father’s; within a mile of us, we have for neighbors, Dr. Young, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Dortch, Mrs. Temple, Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. Fe ohl, Mrs. Wilson and Major Bry’s family.

The fourth of July Willie and I spent on Crew lake with a small party, Maj. Bry and Miss Puss, Mrs. Wilson and daughter, Miss Black, Miss Bright, Capt. Former, Capt. Martin, Lieut. Holmes, Mr. Douglas, Mr. Shields, Willie and I. The lake is about thirteen miles from Monroe, Willie and I rose at three o’clock and left home at four, the ride into Monroe was delightful, when we started the stars were all brightly shining, and Venus more beautiful than all the rest shone just before us, gradually the rosy tints of dawn began to appear, and grew brighter and brighter, until one by one the stars faded away, and as the rays reached higher and higher, Venus, as if reluctantly, mingled her radiance with theirs, as we stopped on the bank the river lay before us, so silvery, so beautiful, just waving with ripples, the murmur from the just waking town came to us from the opposite bank, and soon the sun rose in his glory, it is a sight I do not often see and it was well appreciated.

We rode out to the lake on the cars, spent a very pleasant day, catching fish, rowing on the stream, talking and lounging under the shady trees and, — eating dinner.

Willie and I reached home at dusk.

Father did not go to Richmond, he sent Mr. Maguire in his stead, Father has been quite sick for the last two weeks, his sickness was brought on by exposure to the sun, he was walking on the railroad track between two breaks, when he was taken with vomiting, and vomited for half an hour. At length he dragged himself under a woodshed, and lay there all alone for three or four hours, when a hand car came along, took him up and carried him to a house. He stayed there a day, came home, took to his bed and did not rise for a week; he has been into Monroe now twice, but still looks very pale.

Willie has not had a chill in a long time, we hope he is getting well. Bernard is dead, Mother received news of his death about the middle of June, Mother is anxious for Grandma to come to her, but she cannot come on account of the Yankees being in the way.

The weather is very warm and dry now, we have not had rain in a long time, a month, every thing is drying up. Willie will not make any corn; the thermometer stood at 98� today at four o’clock; even the dogwood trees are dying from the drought. —

Thursday, July 18th /62 —

Oh we have had such a delightful rain, yesterday it rained all day, so softly, that it penetrating the parched earth without washing the soil off. Today it has been showering a little, everything looks so beautiful, the trees are so green and seem almost to speak their thanks for the rain.

Mr. Dwight returned today, and we have not had any school this evening. I have been writing a french translation for tomorrow, and can hardly write correct English now, I have commenced to make the acute and grave accents quite often since I began this. —

Captain Smith came down yesterday morning, he does not look very well, is anxious about his son, who was in the battle of Richmond, he is in Jackson’s division, had been (when his Father last heard from him) marching for thirty days, often twenty miles a day, and had a fight nineteen days out of the thirty.

Father et Capt. Smith left this morning before the break of day, Father went off on the cars, he will to back Saturday. We did not wish him to go fearing that it would make him sick, but he said he must start the repairs of the road, the commanding General at Monroe has ordered the repairs to be continued, they had been stopped so that the road might not afford facilities to the Yankees in penetrating into the country, but the General says it is necessary to transport troops over the road.

A large body of Calvary from Texas passed here the other day, we waved to them, Miss Mary was in the grove waving and hurrahing, one cried out to her “I will bring you two Yankees home” “I will not thank you for so few as that”, she said. He replied enthusiastically, “God Bless your little Jeff. Davis rebel soul”; a characteristic dialogue, characteristic of the time, ah! we almost froget humanity now, and applaud sentiments at which in other times, we would have wept.

Peace, how beautiful thou art! I never the happiness of peace until I felt the bitterness, the weariness of war, now the peaceful seems to as a dream; and yet even in the midst of war we may have inward peace, sometimes I realize this, and though I mourn for my country, mourn for my loved ones, yet I feel sometimes as if I have known an inward conflict, a conflict of passion and duty, of good and evil far more difficult to bear that even this heavy heavy burdun. It is not only the present it is the future I think of, I am seldom aught but hopeful and trustful but yet I often feel an anxious dread for my country. I fear evil to her, not from foreign ennemies but from internal faults, Oh! may these fears be groundless, may southern liberty yet triumph over every obstacle to her greatness.

Oakland, August 3rd 1862 —

This is one of the saddest pages in my journal, I have not written here for more than a week, I have not had the heart. Grandma is dead, she was taken sick just two weeks ago today and died last Sunday (the 27th). We all followed her to the grave on Monday, she is buried almost in sight of the house, on our land, Oh! what a week this has been, it seemed as if it would never end. I sat up with Grandma the last night, she was unconscious for two days, except at short intervals, the last word she said was “Satira”, I was leaning over her and I think she took me for Aunt Satira.

Every thing reminds me of her, especially in my room, I could scarcely bear to enter it and am just beginning to overcome the feeling a little; she died in the hall, the hall where she was so fond of sitting we scarcely ever sit there now. It seems months since she was here, though it is not a week since her body lay cold and quiet in that very hall, where we all walked on tiptoe and spoke in whispers, as if death could be disturbed; my mind has been so weak, so very weak, and I have felt so sad, my body too has been sick and today I feel scarcely able to sit up. George is the only well one.

Sunday, Aug. 10th/62.

We are all getting better now, but many of us are far from well, Georgie has been complaining for several days. I took medicine and lay in bed Tuesday and was hardly able to sit up for several days after, I feel much better now. John is not at all well, and is very fretful.

Father left home Tuesday to be gone two weeks, but returned very unexpectedly last night, he went to Vicksburg and to Jackson, he looks much better than when he went.

Mr. Green has been in two battles lately, came out of both uninjured, Father saw it in the papers, I am so glad to hear it, but they are constantly skirmishing in Virginia and he may not be living now, a number of young men from Monroe were killed in the late Richmond battle. We hear of deaths et either from disease or the sword nearly every day; Mrs. Phillips and her daughter Mrs. Byrne spent the day here Friday. Mrs. Phillip’s brother was among the slain at Richmond. These things make me feel sad, sometimes my spirits fall dreadfully, but I try to battle against the ideas that creep unawares into my mind and I endeavour to free myself from the melancholy that takes hold upon me.

Mother and I called upon Mrs. Filhiol yesterday, she is a very pleasant lady, she reminds me so much of Aunt Lydia, her manners are so like Aunt Lydia’s, pleasant and easy; Mr. Filhiol too is a very agreeable gentleman, reminds me irresistably of Mr. Green, every motion every tone is so much like his.

Miss Scarborough came over to Mrs. Wilson’s last week, she and Miss Julia were here Friday.

The weather is warm yet, and dry, but not very dry. I received letters from Lois and Aunt Mary a week or two ago, Grandma Holton is at Uncle David’s she has been very sick but the country air was improving her. Lois is at Mr. Holgandorf’s still, says she is in excellent health.

Wednesday, Aug. 20th —

The Yankees have come back, a few days ago they came down the river, took a cargo of arms which was lying at the landing, marched over to Tallulah, burned the railroad warehouse and some cars and then marched back to their gunboats again; we had a guard of several hundred men at the river, but they had no head to direct them and ran “like sheep". Some soldiers have now gone down to the swamp. Father intended to go to Mobile this week but of course he cannot go now. I am sorry, for I think a journey would do him good, he went into Monroe Monday, heard the news, was busy preparing a train to transport the soldiers until eight or nine o’clock, reached Tallulah at twelve; was busy there for some time and did not reach Monroe again until daybreak, he was busy there all day yesterday, returned home about dark and went to bed without any supper. He is thin, weak, and lowspirited. Oh! what would I give to see him well again!

A soldier came here to breakfast this morning, after he had finished and was sitting at the table, Mother told him not to wait if he was in a hurry; “no”, he said, “I am going to take my time going back, I had to run all the way down to Monroe, yesterday”.

General Blanchard sent out an indefinite order to the camps, and all the men that were able, went off, the consequence was there were too many and some had to march back immediately. Capt. Sam. Adams is at home on furlough.

Monday morning Mother and I were sitting sewing when we were surprised by his entrance, accompanied by a Mr. Golding; we had not expected the honor of a visit from him; as it was, he came to see about buying a negro. He is much improved since he went, not near so conceited, apparently, and more polished in his manners; there is a familiarity about him, however, which repels me; I may be too romantic in my ideas, but I like to see a gentleman’s manner towards a lady respectful even to reverence.

We have a vacation now, we have no school since Grandma’s death. I have been busy, since I have been well enough to do anything, making out a list of British poets and writing down the most important events of their lives, this keeps me contented. for I believe that I am learning something in doing it, I want constant occupation.

It is now nearly four months since I heard a word from my dear Miss Valeria, though I have written several letters to her, sometimes I long to see her with a longing that cannot be described. Now when I am in my room, every where I turn I see something to remind me of my departed Grandmother. I stay here no more than I can help; I have visited her grave only once though I feel I ought to go there; the sorrow in my heart seems hard and cold.

We have had no rain yet; Willie says if we do not have rain soon all the crops will be ruined; the dust in the road is perfectly suffocating. Mrs. Richardson and sister were over here Monday, they are very pleasant ladies. I think I like Mrs. Scarborough best.

Sunday, Aug. 31st

The last day of the month and also of our vacation, tomorrow we commence school again, I have not accomplished half the work which I allotted to this vacation. Alas! I could not forsee the future, I did not expect the sorrowful event of last month, which has rendered our vacation a month of mourning instead of joy, and of sickness, and lassitude, instead of health and hard work. The only useful things I have done are the commencement of my poetical list and the making of some soldiers shirts.

I received a letter from Miss Ginnie Calwell last night, it brought sad news to me, the Ridgills have left Amite, that was in June, three months ago, and I have not heard from Miss Valeria yet. I don’t know what can have happened, if I could only hear from her, she is one of my few loved, they are few whom I love, but oh! how my heart clings to them.

I ought to feel thankful this evening, and I indeed I do feel so, though I cannot but be a little sad; we have had quite a little shower this evening, hardly enough to lay the dust but there is prospect of more, it has been so dry everything is burning up, even this little shower refreshes us, though it has now nearly all dried into the parched earth.

Father returned from Jackson, Miss. last night, he crossed the river at Vicksburg, no gunboats were in sight then, though two have come down since, very few of the people had moved back to Vicksburg but those have remained there.

Father came from Jackson to Vicksburg with Dr. Lord and Bishop Green, the Bishop had not received a letter from his nephew, neither had any one else that Father saw, though Mr. Smedes had heard of him through his son, who is a lieutenant in Capt. Green’s company, he says that Capt. Green behaved with great gallantry, their regiment was in that desperate charge in which so many brave men were fruitlessly sacrificed; they were commanded to lie down to shield themselves from the deadly fire, and kept that position an hour, when finally, they were allowed to retire, Capt. Green found himself alone with two of his lieutenants and four men, the rest were killed wounded, and missing, of course many came back again after the fight was over.

Puss Bry spent the day with us yesterday, Capt. Sam. Adams has been very sick, is better now, Mr. Dillard has also been very low, his situation is now precarious. All our family are quite well now. We have commenced reading aloud again, last we begun “Anne of Guirstein”, we enjoy it very much, Willie is exceedingly interested in it. We shall have little time for reading when school commences again.

Saturday, Sept. 13th

We commenced school a week ago Monday and have been studying steadily ever since, it seems natural to be in school again, and makes me feel happier. Mrs. Dwight is an excellent french and music scholar, and I am perfectly satisfied with her as a teacher for me; but I am afraid that she is not all I at first thought, and not capable of disciplining the mind of a child. Eva does not understand her studies as she ought to do, and Miss Mary, though she has improved in some things, needs to have her mind strengthened and excited to think and reason; however, “what can’t be helped must be endured”, and I must try to make the most of my advantages while I have them.

It is almost the middle of September, I can hardly believe that winter is so near, yesterday evening the air was really like fall; today it has been warmer. Our house gets on slowly, they are now at work on the pantry, Mr. Axley is making sash.

Willie commenced making brick about two weeks ago; our chimneys cannot be finished until those bricks are burned.

Uncle Moses left for Georgia on Wednesday, I spent the day with Aunt Jane. Thursday, at Mrs. Garrett’s Miss Sarah Garrett is a very pleasant young lady, I think I should like her very much.

We have had no rain yet, several times it has clouded up, thundered and lightened and a few drops fallen, but not enough to lay the dust.

I must close my book now and get ready to go over to Dr. Young’s to see Carrie and the Misses Compton; we have so many neighbors to visit that I seldom spend an evening at home, they will soon leave, now that fall is coming on. Willie and I took a ride with Miss Julia and Miss Tabitha Thursday evening, enjoyed it very much, only Miss Julia’s pony stumbled and threw her off, but she was not hurt.

Emmeline had a baby on the 4th —

Wednesday Sep, 18th —

I have time this evening to write a few lines in my journal, and this is a thing of such rare occurrence that I must not let the opportunity pass. I was very much relieved and rejoiced day before yesterday by a long letter from Miss Valeria, telling me all about their removal from Amite and their journeyings to Sharon Mississippi, again today I received a letter from her, I cannot express what joy these letters gave me, though they indeed contained some things that saddened it, I cannot bear to think of their discomforts of both mind and body in their present unsettled condition, and then how must they not feel about John and Angus; John is in Longstreet’s division, constantly near the enemy, and has been in several battles, though held in reserve; with Angus it has been still worse, poor boy, my heart bleeds for him, he has been sick for eight weeks with, typhoid fever; it is the third serious illness he has had since he left home, is unable to serve and it is extremely doubtful if he can get release or even a furlough! I can sympathize with his family, for though I have not passed through the ordeal, the very thought of Willie’s having to suffer so, makes so shudder; then I feel near to Angus too, I always have liked him, he is so frank and lovable.

We are having good news from the war now, on every side our armies are triumphant and are driving the Yankees from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, while Vicksburg stands firm, and we hear that the Yankees are dying by hundreds in New Orleans, this last is an awful thing to rejoice over, and yet such the fate of a bloody war and such are the feelings which it engenders, even in the merciful heart of a woman.

Father left us this morning for Jackson, we do not expect him home until next Wednesday, he is improving very much now, and I rejoice to see that with health he is regaining his spirits.

Mrs. Wilson moved to the swamp Monday. Fall is already here, I am just beginning to realize that it is the middle of September, we have had no rain yet. Last night there was a very cold drizzle which lasted for about half an hour and then every appearance of a storm, we thought that the ecquinoctial gale was at hand but it passed away in a short time, today has been clear and very warm, but this evening it is quite chilly, the sky is threatening and we hear distant thunder now and then. Miss Julia Compton spent the day here today, or rather, took dinner here, she and Mother went to Trenton this evening, they have not yet returned; though it, is nearly dark and expect them every moment.

The work on the house appears to progress more rapidly now, yesterday and today they put up the bookshelves in the parlour, I long for the time to come when we may arrange the books on them, Mr. Axley will soon be done the sash for my room; and the pantry is nearly finished Father said yesterday that he expected to move us downstairs when he returned next week. The clouds are very black, oh! may they bring rain, the earth is parched like a brick, and the dust is over the shoetops.

Monday Sep. 29th 1862 —

We have had two or three good rains since I wrote last, the cloud I spoke of in my last entry did indeed bring rain, a dreadful storm. Mother and Julia Compton were in the whole of it, when they arrived they were of course drenched to the skin; Julia spent the night here, she rather enjoyed her adventure than otherwise, she is a frank, pleasant girl, but not of very great depth of character; one cannot avoid liking her, however, nor can one be ceremonious with her. The whole family arrived yesterday and went up to their place. The weather is now quite warm, last week the mornings and evenings were very cool indeed.

Friday night two soldiers lodged here, they belong to Wall’s Texas legion, company Sunderland braves, cavalry. One of them was but seventeen years old and looked much younger, his complexion was not yet bronzed by exposure and he had very fair hair and pretty blue eyes, one could almost imagine him some fair maiden in disguise. Mrs. Dwight said to him; “Were not your Parents unwilling for you to leave home so young” he answered “Pa said I was too young to come, but Ma said that I wanted to come, and it was not right to keep me”. The other soldier, could not have been more than twenty, but he was the perfect opposite of his companion, large, muscular, with a brown face, jet black hair, hazel eyes, and a slight black moustache, he spoke more than the other, and appeared very intelligent, and well bred, though quite plain. He was very gallant too, and proud of Texas and her soldiers and his company and Captain. A division of the “legion” passed the next morning, before he left he told us of the different companies as they passed, their hurrahs for Louisiana and the ladies were deafening; we said that some of the troops did not hurrah to us though we waved to them. “Ah!” said he “they don’t know any, better, there are a great many dutch among them who don’t care for anything, I despise them”, then, as his company came along he said “See, thats our company, they all take off their hats”, and sure enough they did, “there’s Capt. Sunderland”, added he proudly “see him taking off his cap and hurrahing". He shook hands with us warmly and said, “Ladies, if I survive this war, I shall certainly call again”, then mounting his horse he pricked him with his great Texas spurs and galloped off, looking very handsome; his company recognized him while he was standing talking to us, and commenced to shout “hurrah for Ray”, “hurrah for Ray”, “I should not think they could recognize you from so far”, said I, “Oh, yes” he replied, “I am the orderly serjeant and they think a good deal of me”.

Capt. Smith came down here last night, he is going away tomorrow morning; Father is going to send for salt by him, so Willie will not go. I am so glad, I did not like to think of Willie’s being absent so long; they were getting the wagon ready this evening, it seemed strange to see its great white top in our yard; the salt will probably cost Father five dollars a bushel and the hauling of about seventy miles.

Mrs. Williams will move this week, there will then be none of the summer residents here except Major Bry’s family. The good news from the war continues to arrive, we hear of some new feat of arms nearly every day. Longstreet’s division has been in nearly all the late battles, I tremble to think of John Ridgill. Mr. Green’s company is also in that division, Oh! for peace, but war rather than peace except with perfect independence, and this the infatuated north is not yet willing to give us.

Miss Mary and I planted some violets on Grandma’s grave Friday, they were part of those Mrs. Drake gave us, Grandma used to watch their growth with us, little did she think they would bloom upon her grave; Oh! how constantly we should remember that death is ever near us.

Saturday, Oct. 10th/62. —

This is an ever memorable week to me, for this week we moved downstairs, and I feel once more at home, yes at home again after five years of wandering, five years in which I have experienced my first considerable trials, my first disappointments, five years in which I known much happiness, and lastly, greatest of all, years in which I hope, I believe, that I have been able to see the light that dwells in darkness, and to draw near to the holy of holies. My heart fills with gratitude as I look around my quiet, comfortable room, with its white curtains and coverings, and all my furniture disposed just as suits me, then the warm sun comes in at the south windows and on the west I look out on the beloved hillside, still green but which will soon be brightened by the many colored hues of Autumn.

It is quite cold today, and it was not till ten o’clock this morning that the sun was able to penetrate through the cold gray clouds which covered the sky, but now it is shining brightly and I no longer shiver, though I still wear a shawl.

This morning we had three men here to breakfast who were on their way to get salt for the volunteer’s families, they told Father if ever he was in their country and wanted a meal to come to them “we are all Confederate brothers you know” said one.

While we were at dinner a man came up and asked one of the servants if he could get dinner for six, “Are they soldiers?” said Mother, “they don’t look like it ma’am”, she answered “well” said Mother, “tell them they can’t have dinner, I have only enough for my own family”, he went out but the other four came in, said they were soldiers, we all begged for them and Mother sent Miss Mary out to tell them to come in, there were three Texans guarding a deserter, he was an irishman who had been hired as a substitute, we all pitied him very much, but he did not seem at all distressed.

Reuben came back from the salt works yesterday.

I received a letter from Miss Valeria day before yesterday, Angus had been home on a furlough, and John came out of the battle safe, I was so glad to hear it.

Father received a letter from Mrs. Veader Friday, she had just arrived in Savannah, had been at the North two years, she said we could form no idea of the bitterness of feeling at the North; she has a brother imprisoned by them in New Orleans, he was arrested without knowing for what.

We heard today of a defeat sustained by Price and VanDorn, from Rozencrans, (despicable german!) they say, however, that there were twelve Yankees to our one, we have heard no particulars but Father says he thinks Van Dorn must be to blame, for Price is to good a General to give battle under such circumstances, at any rate, we cannot expect to have so many victories with not one reverse.

Wednesday, Oct. 15th —

Father left us yesterday evening to be absent a whole month, how long the time seems! he is gone to Georgia.

We have a poor woman staying here tonight for whom my heart bleeds, she went down to the camps on horseback with her baby, only seven months old; to nurse her husband, when she arrived there this morning she found him dead and buried. She is now on her way back to her sad home. She is a very young woman, apparently quite poor, and has no parents living, as I hear her deep and frequent sighs from the adjoining room I can only pity her and be grateful for all the blessings that surround me. Oh! how many, many such widows this war will make, nay, has already made; scarcely a family but has lost one member.

Willie has not been very well today and yesterday, Saturday he took a ride of thirty miles after some oxen, and again Monday, since then, he has been very tired.

Mrs. Young has a baby boy, born today.

Tuesday, Oct. 28th/62 —

Oh! how cold it has been, I shiver to think of it, Saturday night my flowers froze in my room, and I could not keep warm in bed, though I had a quantity of cover. Sunday it was still cold, and froze again that night. Monday we could not have school on account of the weather, today it is quite pleasant, but is still cold.

I spent Saturday with the Misses Compton, passed a very pleasant day, in the evening Col. Gibson, from Mallison Parish, who has been up at the salt works making salt, came in, he is a very pleasant gentleman indeed. Mrs. Dwight moved into her new room yesterday, it is all ceiled and therefore more comfortable than the other, though she cannot yet have a fire, for the chimney is not quite finished; I have not been able to have a fire in my room yet on that account. They are building the brickkiln now, and I hope the chimneys will be finished before we have any more such cold weather.

My poor little Valeria had some of her leaves frozen the other night, but one side is still green and untouched; I could not bear for it to die, it’s name endears it to me.

We have not heard from Father since he left, the two weeks past seem a long time, and I long for the next two to be past. We have heard of a victory gained by Bragg over Buell in Kentucky, the battle is said to have taken place some weeks ago, but we have not yet heard any particulars of it. Carrie Young came over here yesterday evening, she looks quite thin.

Mr. Drake called here this morning, has been to Texas, he was looking very well.

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.

Friday, Nov, 7th —

Two of those men I mentioned are gone, but one, not the very sick one, is here still, he was taken sick the night before his brothers left, the doctor thinks he has typhoid fever, his name is George Woodard. It appears that he left his company without a furlough only to be absent one day, today an officer of his company came after him, but went away again finding that he was sick, he is going to send the sick man’s brother to wait upon him.

The officer who came today amused us all a great deal by his conversation, he said at dinner, speaking of camp fare “I used to think it was mighty hard living it I could not have just what I wanted, but now I would walk half a mile for that potatoe” then seeing us smile incredulously be continued “Yes, I would, and so would any of the boys if they tuk a notion for it”. Poor soldiers! I am sorry for them. Oh! when will we have peace. We have heard nothing from Father since he left, though it is now more than three weeks, as the time for his coming draws nearer, I become more and more impatient to see him.

Tuesday, Nov. 11th

Saturday morning we were very agreeably surprised by a visit from Mrs. Bennett and her daughter, they had been at Monroe and were going home that evening, so that they could not stay and dine with us. The young ladies are coming down soon, and promised to spend some time with me. We had just sat down to dinner when Emmeline came in to say that there was a carriage at the door, with what looked like a sick soldier in it. Mother told Willie to go and see, and tell him we had a sick man here and could take no one, after some minutes of impatience on our part we found that it was Mr. Murrah with two other gentlemen, we have but a slight acquaintance with.Mr. Murrah as our only intercourse with him was one morning when Father invited him to breakfast with us, but he was then so easy and agreeable in conversation that we were all favourably impressed, with him, and were glad to have his company to dinner, the other two gentlemen were refugees from New Orleans, one had been away some time but was obliged to leave his family there as he could not get a passport for them to come away. The other gentleman had left New Orleans but a few days before, and gave us an interesting account of the proceedings there; he says one must depend upon Butler’s caprice about getting a passport, but that generally one can be bought for five hundred dollars, though he has known a thousand to be given. He says those persons who take the oath are not allowed to leave the city except to go to the United States. He said that those negroe regiments the Yankees have are more trouble than use to them, they have to watch them closely to prevent their running back to their masters.

Page from the Diary
Page from the Diary

This soldier is still sick here, the doctor came this morning, pronounces his disease camp fever, says he will probably recover soon. The soldier’s brother came and spent the day and night with him Saturday, but his regiment was ordered off and he could not stay.

It is very warm tonight, we are all hoping for rain, we are in great need of it. Willie left home yesterday to look up some pork, we expect him back tonight.

We are reading Prescott’s conquest of Mexico now, commenced it last week, we find it very entertaining.

Saturday, Nov, 15th —

This morning we were most delightfully surprised on waking up to Father here, at least we all were surprised except Mother and Willie, who knew when he came. Miss Mary and I jumped out of bed and dressed immediately though it was only a little past five and we could not see to tie our shoes. We saw the sun rise this morning, the sight was so beautiful that it seemed strange to me that I should content myself with seeing it only once or twice a year when I might see it every day. Father looks better than when he went away; he was obliged to go into Monroe this morning, as he leaves us Tuesday for Richmond.

I cannot bear the thought of his being absent another week, perhaps longer.

This poor soldier here is very ill indeed, his wife came this morning, he seems to know her, but cannot speak to her, lies and groans constantly, it is pitiful to hear him, one can hear him as soon as they approach the house and he sleeps very little; I have been with him all day today and must go up again now.

Monday, Nov. 17th —

Our poor soldier died Saturday night, and was buried Sunday, his widow is still here but will probably leave tonight, poor woman, I am very sorry for her.

Mr. Horne spent Sunday with us, he looks very well indeed.

Last night we had rain all night and today it has been so damp that we could not have school. I have been very busy, however, reading French, mending gloves, marking socks, writing letters for Father to take with him and mending Eva’s doll, it is one which she prized very highly, John broke it yesterday and she sorrowed deeply over it, but I think I can mend it.very well indeed with diamond cement.

Father brought me such a beautiful present for my eighteenth birthday, I feel almost guilty to have such a present now but it was a perfect surprise to me, I had no idea of receiving any present at all, much less such a beautiful one. It is a rosewood dressing case, handsomely inlaid with brass, and fitted up inside with purple velvet and silk and everything one could want for dressing and travelling.

Father also brought home with him a beautifully bound copy of Humbolt’s Cosmos, I anticipate great pleasure in reading, but fear I shall not yet be able to understand it.

Saturday, Nov. 22 —

Father left Tuesday, another month of waiting is before us now. The small pox is at the camps, several have died with it, we are anxious to have the children vaccinated, but cannot get any matter.

At last they have commenced burning the brick kiln, it has now been burning two nights we have been out to see it each night, it has been beautiful starlight and we have had an excellent opportunity of observing the stars, the trees no longer interpose a leafy screen between us and the heavens, nearly all of them are bare now.

This is a delightful day, the sky is perfectly blue and the air warm but bracing, as I sit here the perfumes of our heliotropes and geranium reaches me, and through through the open window I hear the low, sweet music of the pines, how calmly beautiful the scene; not the fresh, bright spirit of spring, it is true, nor the glowing luxury of summer, nor gayety of early autumn, but the beauty of winter, an indescribable, a peculiar beauty when the spirit is calmed the passions seem to die in looking out on the shining naked landscape. If I could only feel that my country was at peace what happiness would be mine; yet I know not I am ever prone to murmur; my wicked spirit must always have some trial to chasten it, let me bear it then without murmuring.

Sunday, Nov. 30th 1862 —

My eighteenth birthday has come and gone, I have now reached a period long looked forward for I am now a young lady. I do not feel the weight of my new dignity much, however. Yesterday I finished reading Paradise lost and commenced “Cosmos”. What a sublime work Paradise lost is, and there are touches of exquisite beauty as well as grandeur, I closed the book with a clearer conception of the divine scheme of redemption, and a deeper love of Christ in my heart. I am anxious to read some in Cosmos before Father returns, but I do not have a great deal of time for reading.

I received a letter from Miss Ginnie Calwell last week, she was on the eve of starting for N. Orleans, said Butler would allow ladies to go in and out now, and that a great many are going down to attend to their husband’s business. She says anyone can bring goods out of the city by paying Butler, I want none of his goods and I should not trust myself to the whim of the brute Butler, as he is commonly called. What sanctity can the publisher of his proclamation accord to the name of woman.

Mother has gone into Trenton this evening to see Mrs. Cauthorn, who was thought to be dying last week, and is still very ill indeed, she has a young baby, I hope she may be spared for her children’s sake.

We are having delightful weather now, this morning it was very damp but has cleared off now, and the wind is blowing the leaves in whirlpools around the yard. We have had no war news for some time.

Tuesday, Dec. 9th/ 1862 —

The small pox is really in Monroe, there are now four cases there, not soldiers but in private families, we have at last succeeded in getting some vaccine matter, two returned soldiers stopped here last Tuesday night, one of whom had been vaccinated and still had the matter in his arm, the next morning he vaccinated George, Joe and little Jim, but George’s has not yet taken, Dr. Young will vaccinate his children from this. Mrs. Byrne was to come out to Dr. Young’s tonight, the small pox was next door to them in Monroe, I do not think it is at all right for them to go to the Doctor’s as they could easily have hired a summer house somewhere in this neighborhood.

Willie is not at home now, he left Sunday to go about sixty miles from here into Arkansas to try and get some hogs, I hope he will succeed, it is very difficult to get meat at any price here, pork is twenty-five cents, and bacon impossible to get, the last was bought at fifty cents. We expect Willie back tomorrow or next day.

We heard from Father Sunday, he telegraphed from Richmond to Mr. McGuire to call a meeting of the directors to elect a president for this road in his stead, so I suppose he has accepted the situation. I am sorry and yet I am glad, for I know he can do a great deal of good for the Country, and I feel that we ought not to think of ourselves — it will be hard to be separated from him.

Saturday evening Julia Compton and Miss Lucy Seale came down to see me, Julia invited me to go home and spend the night with her, I went, and enjoyed myself very well, became acquainted with Mrs. Compton and Miss Mary, and learned how to plait palmetto for hats, Maggie was plaiting some for a hat for one of the negroes.

The weather is delightful now, it rained all the first part of last week, but has been clear ever since Thursday. I commenced “Cosmos” a week ago Saturday, but have only had time to finish the introduction yet.

Wednesday night, 11th of Dec. 1862 —

We have our first fire in our room tonight, how pleasant it is to feel the grateful warmth, and see the homelike light on the walls.

We have some more poor people here tonight, a young soldier who was taken sick in the swamp, his Father came for him, and was himself attached with inflammatory rheumatism, lastly the Mother left her young children and came down for them, hearing of the small pox in Monroe they left immediately, though the son is very weak and the father not able to be taken out of the carriage. The young man was carried upstairs, but the poor woman was obliged to stay out at the carriage with her husband. Oh! this terrible war.

Thursday, Dec. 18th —

Since I wrote last we have heard again from Father, Mother received a letter from him last Saturday he has really accepted the position offered him as chief of all the railroads in our Confederacy, with the title of Assistant adjutant Gen’l. and with the rank of Colonel, he says that it is the opinion of the secretary of war that it will be necessary for his to have a separate bureau. I grieve to have Father separated from us, but am willing to submit to this if he can benefit our country, and I know he can do it; I feel no selfish pride in his elevation to such a conspicuous and important position, though I feel a worthy pride in my Father when I reflect on the change which his own intellect, industry and energy have produced since he set his foot on Georgia soil, a youth of twenty, with no fortune but his trade, a half dollar and a few changes of clothes, and — his own genius and will; now he can protect and aid the country which has been his foster mother.

Father writes that it he establishes his headquarters in Richmond he should like to have me spend several months there, I should like to go very much on some accounts, but yet I wish to remain at home. We hope to see Father the first of next week.

All the children were vaccinated Sunday morning, also some from the neighborhood, the matter was taken from the arms of Joe and George.

We had such an amusing traveller here the other night, he was a perfect fool, I have read of such characters but never met one before, he kept us all in a constant agony of suppressed laughter. He said he was sometimes afraid that the prophecies of Isaiah would now be accomplished from “the simple fact” that the “masculine gender would be almost extinguished by this war” — how ridiculous!

Dec. 25th/ 1862 —

Christmas night, it has been a sad Christmas day to us Father was not here, we received a dispatch Tuesday night saying that he must return to Richmond before coming home, it was a great disappointment, since we had at least hoped that he would arrive Christmas eve. Today has seemed just like Sunday, while at dinner we received some papers one of which contained a list of the wounded, among them was a Capt. Green. I am sure it must be Mr. Robt. Green, for he was at Fredericksburg and was in the 21st regiment.

Mother and I went to see a new neighbour, a family from the swamp who have rented Mr. Richardson’s place just opposite, their name is Dawson, there are three young ladies in the family, we only saw the eldest she is quite pretty, pleasant and of a fashionable appearance.

Mrs. Wheatly was married Tuesday night to Mr. Mays, the soldier whom she has nursed so long. There was no one invited, as the bridegroom was too lame to stand and did not wish to have any company.

Friday — Dec. 26th.

Our turn has come at last, we heard this morning that the Yankees had come as far as Delhi (on the railroad) burning everything in their track, and coming four miles an hour, we know nothing of their force, all suppose that they are coming to Monroe. I do not know whether our few troops will resist or not. Willie is gone in at full speed to ascertain the of the matter and to bring back our teams which went in this morning for corn. Oh if Father was here! I am determined, come what may, never to renounce my country, but what is before us!

The negroes are busy barbecueing and cooking for their party tonight, they may have to start away before day, but we shall let enjoy themselves while they can.

Night —

Willie returned this evening, bringing us no further news, Mr. McGuire thinks that the Yankees have e’er this gone back to their gunboats, it is true that they laid Delhi in ashes.

General Blanchard has ordered all the men under forty five to meet at Cotton post tomorrow morning early, he purposes to make a stand at Monroe, I hope he will.

We have been watching the negroes dancing for the last two hours, Mother had the partition taken down in our old house so that they have quite a long ball room, we can sit on the piazza and look into it. I hear now the sounds of fiddle, tambourine and “bones” mingled with the shuffling and pounding of feet. Mr. Axley is fiddling for them, they are having a merry time, thoughtless creatures, they think not of the morrow.

I am sad, very sad, tonight, last Christmas Father watched their dancing with us; where is he now? where shall we all be next Christmas, and tomorrow Willie must go, perhaps to battle, I do not feel a single complaint in my heart, but I am very sad.

Monday Dec. 28th — Willie went to Monroe Saturday and brought back humiliating, but still welcome news compared to what we expected, there were only fifty five Yankees, who came to Delhi, burned the railroad warehouse and several other buildings, together with a car containing a quantity of cloth for the soldiers, they also burned several important bridges, so that the cars cannot now run further then Delhi, about half way to Vicksburg; and all this damage done by a few contemptible Yankees, while our own contemptible General Blanchard was shivering with fright in Monroe, and there was a whole company of our soldiers in the but they happened to be watching the wrong place, if we only had a man for a General instead of the effeminate creature we have, these raids might be prevented, and this important railroad left open for the benefit of the whole country.

Mr. Murrah dined with us yesterday, he was on his way to Mississippi but was stopped by this Yankee demolition of the railroad and will be obliged to travel from Delhi to the river on horseback.

We have not yet heard from Father.

Thursday — January 1st /1863 —

The old year is past and today a new one commences. I feel inclined to look back tonight upon the past year, gone now, with all its duties neglected or performed, all it’s faults and all it’s virtues and trials overcome, thank God I can believe that I have progressed some during the past year, personally, I have much cause to be thankful. Last year I hoped that another new year’s sun would rise upon a nation once more in peace, how different is the truth; we hear today that the Yankees have attacked Vicksburg, both by sea and by land, but been repulsed three times, times with great loss. Vicksburg will stand, it seems impossible for her to fall. The Yankees have attempted to land on the Yazoo but were repulsed, war is on every side, we hear heartrending accounts from the places where the Yankees have been, it would require volumes to record the atrocities of Butler, alone.

Miss Mary Compton called here this morning, this evening Mother, Miss Mary, Eva and I went over to Mrs. Dawson’s, heard some beautiful singing tram the young ladies. Willie has been away all day for pork, returned with a load tonight and is now busy in cutting it up.

January 3rd —

We were all very much surprised yesterday by Mr. Dwight’s arrival, for although we have been expecting him so long, he had so often failed to come that we began to think of him as a thing of the past.

Mother went in to Trenton yesterday to see poor Mrs. Bry, Mrs. Cauthorn died the day before New Years, after a long and painful illness.

It appears that we were misinformed about the conduct of our men in the swamp and that they were surrounded by a greatly superior force and made their escape in a masterly manner.

It rained all night and is now raining, my room floor is quite wet from a leak, it seems almost impossible to stop it. Willie came home last night in the rain, but no bad consequences ensued from it.

Wednesday Jan’y 7th —

Yesterday evening we were surprised by a visit from young Robert Smith, he has changed very much since he was here last year, looks pale and sad; poor fellow, he returned home the morning of the day in which his Father died, he did not know of his sickness. He has been in eleven battles, in nine of which he was actively engaged, at last he was wounded in the hand in August, and came home last month on furlough, his wound has just healed and left his hand a little stiff, he has had the neumonia since he came home, said he would have called to see us when he went on, but was so anxious to get home that he could not stop.

We hear that Butler has been arrested on a charge of defalcation to the amount of six millions! we are certain that he has been superseded by Banks, who has revoked all the late brutish orders of Butler and invited the citizens to return to their homes. I hope none will return, I am more afraid of the kindness of the Yankees than of their unkindness. We hear also that Seward has resigned.

Father has not come yet, how I long for his coming.

Jan’y 9th —

Mr. Smith left Thursday morning, we have not heard from Father yet. The weather is cold and damp. Dr. Temple has bought Mrs. Dwight’s place and moved into it; Mrs. Dwight asked Mother, with tears in her eyes to let her remain here for a month, and teach us French and music for her board; of course Mother could not say no, though she would have preferred a different arrangement.

I spent the day at Mrs. Dawson’s Wednesday, it passed away very quickly and pleasantly —

Monday, Jan’y 12th —

We received a letter from Father yesterday, oh, how glad we were, he wrote on the 21st of Dec. says he cannot possibly get home before the middle of this month, it is almost here now, we may begin to expect him about the last of this week.

We went to Church yesterday evening for the first time in many months; heard Mr. Goodwin (the new minister) preach, I was not much pleased with his sermon, but as usual found something in it to arouse my conscience. Willie took Miss Dawson in his buggy, or rather, in Mr. Dwight’s, which he borrowed, Carrie Young, Julia Compton, Miss Mary Compton, and Miss Newcomb, and Miss Bennett were at Church, Miss Newcomb and her sister are at Mrs. Young’s now.

Wednesday, Jan’y 14th —

Monday Willie and I went about eighteen miles from here into the country, across the Schuder, as every one says; it is there that Willie has been buying his pork. We went in the buggy and were riding from nine o’clock until after dark, only stopping about two hours and a half; the face of the country is much the same as it in here, but much more thinly settled, we saw five or six very good houses. Took dinner at the house of old Mr. Reynolds, a fine old man, from Georgia.

Mrs. Seale, Mrs. Morris and Miss Scott spent the day here Monday, I was sorry I was not at home to see them. Miss Newcomb and sister also called to see me in the afternoon; I went over to see them yesterday afternoon but they had gone to Mrs. Compton’s.

Willie went off for pork again yesterday after dinner, has not returned yet. Last night a wounded soldier from Minden stopped, was very well acquainted with young Smith.

Thursday, Jan’y 15th —

This morning when we rose little Jim, who came to make our fire this morning said “Miss Sarah, it’s snowing” I looked out of the window and sure enough there was the white fleecy snow, falling in large flakes, it had just commenced, we could hardly dress for looking at it, none of us had ever seen it in day time before, and we were perfectly delighted with the beautiful sight; it snowed quite steadily for about an hour, but the ground was very wet from yesterday’s and last night rain, and was not whitened except in spots, after breakfast the children had a fine snowballing; it has been snowing, sleeting and raining at intervals all day, and is now dreadfully cold, ice has been forming all day. It was a beautiful sight just after dinner, the sun broke out from as clouds around him, making the snow shine on every twig and branch and every pine tree, while all around the horizon the sky wore a dull, cold, leaden hues that I have never seen before; such a peculiarly snowy and cold sky. We have had few gleams of sunshine today but as I write “the western waves of ebbing day” throw their golden light upon my page, giving promise of a sunshiny day tomorrow.

Poor little John has a dreadful cold, last night he was very sick, and Mother was afraid he would have the neumonia but he is much better now, though still quite sick with his cold, Mother has kept him in her room by the fire all day.

I have just finished, answering a letter from Mrs. Yorke, Mr. Smith’s sister, in relation to some pork which she wished to sell to Willie.

Today is the fifteenth, I wonder if Father will come tonight. —

Friday, Jan’y 16th —

Oh what weather, cold as zero — last night it snowed again but this morning it is too cold to snow, everything, is frozen — the water in pitchers and basins and vases, and all my poor flowers; my poor little Valeria is frozen stiff, I have been pouring cold water on it, which iced on the leaves, now I have it close to the fire, I am afraid it is gone, I would not have given it for all my other flowers.

The sky is blue this morning and the sun shines brightly on the white and frozen landscape, icicles hang from the houses, and every little twig whitened with snow stands out still and distinct against the bright sky. I must stop writing, for although I am as close the fire as I can get my fingers ache with the cold. I don’t think I ever saw such weather before, the thermometer is at 22� —

Tuesday, Jan’y 20th —

The cold weather is gone now, but it has left irreparable ravages, my poor geranium and the heliotropes look quite dead, though I hope they will put forth fresh leaves in the spring. Miss Newcomb and her sister have returned home without paying me the visit they promised, they only called here for a few minutes Saturday, I was at Mrs. Dawson’s but came home before they left, I was quite hurt at their not coming to see me, but I am afraid I have been again mistaken in my estimate of character.

I received a long and affectionate letter from Miss Valeria Saturday, that is worth a dozen visits from anyone else. —

Sunday Willie and Mr. Dwight took their buggies and went into Trenton for Miss Lucy Seale and Miss Amelia Scott, they came out intending to spend a week with me, but were obliged to return as Mrs. Scott’s wagons arrived Sunday, and she wished to go to her place beyond Vernon; they spent the night with me, and did not return home until yesterday afternoon; yesterday we sent over for Miss Fannie and Miss Nannie to come and spend the day with us, we enjoyed the day very much, though the weather was very disagreeable, misty, cold and rainy, it cleared up though after dinner, and the sun set clear, but this morning it is cloudy again.

We heard yesterday that Hindman had been taken, together with four thousand men, I hope it is not true. —

Friday, Jan’y 23rd —

I went in to see Mrs. Seale yesterday, found her and Lucy at home and spent a very pleasant day, I am afraid I cannot say as much for Loring, who drove me in, there [damaged text] and he looked very dull. Mrs. [damaged text] [(Rest of page cut off)]

Wednesday Jan’y 28th —

Miss Mary and I spent the day at Mrs. Dawson’s yesterday, when I first went I intended only to stay a few minutes, in fact I went to get some palmetto and to hear Miss Fannie sing La Marseillaise, but Mr. Amos came in before we had been there long, and as he said he should only remain a few minutes, I thought I would remain till he left, then it was near dinner and Mrs. Dawson pressed us to stay, the day passes so quickly, in music, conversation, and books, that I could scarcely believe it when I heard five o’clock strike.

Miss Mary had a dreadful toothache last night, I thought she would not have any rest, but she went to sleep and awoke this morning quite free from pain. It is quite cold again, we had ice this morning, not in our room, however.

We heard yesterday that six of the western states had sent delegates to Richmond asking admittance to the Confederacy, I don’t know how true it is; I am glad to see them leave the North, but I had rather not have them with us.

Wednesday, Feb. 4th 1863 —

[damaged text] (Rest of page cut off) absent, he is very proud of him.

The children went to a little party at Mrs. Dawson’s yesterday, and returned in high spirits.

Our little school goes on quite well still, I do do wish to help the children, both mentally and spiritually, that sometimes I fear my very anxiety makes me too strict, and injures instead of improves them. My chief wish in life is to see all my family truly happy, though I am afraid I do not always set a consistent example, but my indolence and selfishness retards the work I would accomplish.

As for myself, I find my heart so full of sinful feelings that I am ready to say “I am the chief of sinners” and I often fear that I shall never find that perfect peace that the bible promises; but I must keep on trying, and if I do the bible promises I shall at last succeed. —

Tuesday Feb’y. 17th —

It has been raining steadily since yesterday morning, drip, drip, drip without a moment’s intermission, and it seems as if it will continue all day, Willie just arrived in time. My boil burst last night, and does not pain me at all this morning. I hope I shall soon be able to wear my dress again. It is now nine o’clock, and I must go to school.

Wednesday, March 4th/ 1863 —

I have neglected my journal, very much indeed lately, I do not know why it in but I have become very reluctant to write at all lately, except to Miss Valeria. I suppose it is in some degree owing to my corresspondence having been so very irregular lately.

Here it is the fourth day of Spring, and I have not yet welcomed it in my journal, though I have longed for it so much, for I feel as if the painful thoughts and sad remembrances which this winter has brought will be in some degree dissipated by the mild air and flowers of Spring, for who can be entirely sad when nature is bursting into life and beauty around. Oh, how lovely is Spring, I am almost sorry to see her development, so quickly does she pass away, merging all her bright freshness into the voluptuous dreaminess of summer. The peach trees have been in bloom for some time, and the oak and dogwood buds are plainly visible, but the air has lost that delicious warmth and softness which it had a few weeks ago, it is really cold this morning, last night we had a heavy frost.

Willie went into town yesterday, and procured seventy two trees from Dr. Calderwood’s nursery, they are nearly all apple trees, only eight pears, he is going to set them out this morning. Mother sent to Mrs. Bry’s last week and got some cuttings, and some flowers which are planted in our little garden; our heliotropes have all come out beautifully, and my geranium is getting to look quite green again, I had them all carried up stairs last week.

Mr. Myrick spent the day with us Sunday the 22nd Feb’y — left for Georgia the next week; we sent a number of letters by him, he said that Father would probably return with him in April, so we now look forward anxiously to April it is now three months and a half since Father left us! he was never absent so long at a time before.

Julia Compton spent last week in our neighborhood, she stayed three days with me, the rest of the time with Carrie and the Miss Dawsons, we had quite a gay time, took several horseback rides, and spent one evening all together at Mrs. Dawson’s. Miss Mary Compton spent Monday with us, went home in the afternoon, I promised to go up there Friday and stay till Saturday evening. Willie is getting quite fond of the young ladies’ company, enjoys his rides with them very much, and I observe he is more scrupulous about his dress than formerly.

Mrs. Brinton spent yesterday here with her youngest son.

This is Miss Mary’s birthday, so we have no school, she received no present, except a little pincushion from Eva, which pleased her very much, not only on account of the present itself, but the spirit which prompted it. I fancy sometimes that Eva is becoming less fretfull and bad tempered, though at other times I think I am mistaken; patience and time, these are the only remedies.

I finished Corinne this morning, it is indeed a beautiful book. We are all reading Home influence and Mother’s recompense together, have nearly finished it.

I received a letter from Miss Valeria week before last, answered it by Mr. Myrick, every letter from increases my love and esteem for her, oh, if I could but see her, even for a little while, it would be such a pleasure.

I have another of those painful and troublesome boils under my arm, it is almost well now.

March 12th/63. —

We have just received a letter from Father, it is the first we have had in more than a month, he is quite well, or was on the 6th of February (the date of his letter), and I thank God for that, but he says his duties are very arduous and very annoying, and that he has been more than once tempted to resign, but was withheld by a sense of duty. He says that he had been expecting for two weeks to leave for home, but had not been able, and did not that expect to start for a week, he must have been again prevented. Oh, how, we long to see him.

It is so cold today, and has been so since Monday, it is hard to bear after the delightful weather of last week.

We were at Mrs. Compton’s yesterday evening, rode back home by starlight, with Miss Fanny Dawson, and Virginia and Adam Young.

March 23rd 1863. —

I have at last paid my long promised visit to the Bayou. Last Monday Willie drove me to Mrs. Willson’s, and leaving me there, went on to Bastrop. I was a little anxious about my welcome, for I had not seen any of them for several months, and I was not quite sure how they would receive me, but they all welcomed me very warmly indeed, I had intended to return on Tuesday with Willie, but Mrs. Willson and her daughter insisted that I should not, and I found them so agreeable that I consented to prolong my visit until Thursday morning. I will write an exact account of every day, for I have an hour before school-time and I feel quite like writing.

Monday afternoon Miss Julia Willson, Miss Tabitha Scarborough and I went to ride on horseback, we had a delightful ride along the side of the bayou, which is now very high, but oh, how I missed my dear little Mollie as soon as I mounted it seemed so natural to give her the rein and say “get up Mollie”, but instead of her charming galop my pony paced along very quietly and pleasantly.

We rode about four miles to an Indian mound where we dismounted, tied our horses and ascended the mound, it is situated just at the mouth of bayou de Leard, and we could look down the river some distance. The water looked still and beautiful in the light of the setting sun, over the narrow neck of land just opposite we could see the overflow, a watery expanse, stretching away as far as the eye could reach, it is the plantation of Mr. Goodrich and his house is just opposite the mound. He sent over a flat for us, and we went over to his house for a few moments, here we saw Mrs. Scarborough, who was spending a few days there. Crossing over again, we rode home, did not reach there till it was quite dark, on dismounting from our horses we were met by Dr. Strother, he greeted me warmly as “Miss Sarah”. Tabitha and I exchanged glances, I had just said that evening that I liked to be called “Miss Wadley” by new acquaintances. Dr. Cummings and Mr. Shields were in the house, they took tea and spent the evening. I found their company quite pleasant, I do not like Dr. Cummings much, nor do I think him handsome, perhaps I expect too much from him, but there is an expression of effeminacy and indolence about his mouth that I cannot like. We did not leave the parlour until twelve o’clock that night; the gentlemen remained at Mrs. Willson’s and had a great deer hunt the next day.

Tuesday Julia, Tabitha, and I went into Monroe. We called at Mrs. Judge Bry’s saw Mrs. Mason, she has the most emaciated form, and deathly expression I ever saw on any face. We dined at Mrs. Stevens’.

There was a meeting of the D. D. D’s (a young ladies’ company in Monroe) in the afternoon, after which we went home to Mrs. Willson’s. While were disrobing we heard the voices of Judge Scarborough and Mr. Shields in the hall below, they had just returned from the hunt; we soon descended and heard all the particulars, how they had been several times nearly mired up in the woods, how the party had become separated, and, lastly, how Mr. Shields had seen ten deer and shot several times — without killing one. About half past seven or eight the two doctors arrived, in wofull plight, and without having had any better success than the others, they soon left for town, but Mr. Shields remained all night.

Wednesday morning we spent quietly at home, I taught Tabitha and Agnes Willson how to nett, they were both very much pleased with the work. In the evening we rode on horseback again, we went through some beautiful woods, where beneath the gray moss which hung from all the old trees, there were many beautiful dogwoods and haw trees, and some jasmines and honeysuckles in full bloom. We gathered some for Mrs. Willson, who is passionately fond of flowers, but these flat woods cannot compare with my beautiful hills.

We returned from our ride very much fatigued, and putting on our calico dresses went into the parlour where I threw myself on one of the sofas which stood invitingly near and the others established themselves comfortably in some arm chairs around, in a few minutes Mrs. Willson and Julia drew up the card table, and insisted that I should join them in a game. I do not like cards, and am perfectly ignorant of the science of playing, but I was obliged to take my seat at the table, we had just commenced playing when we heard a knock at the door, and soon the servant brought up word that several gentlemen were in the hall, this of course created quite a confusion; Mrs. Willson went down and received them, soon they were ushered in and I was introduced to Lieuts. Cobb and Flournoy and Capt. Martin. The evening passed very pleasantly, I was very much pleased with Lieut. Flournoy, found him very agreeable, though his attentions were much confined to Julia.

The gentlemen left late, and my head was not laid on the pillow till one o’clock again.

Thursday morning we went in to Mrs. Stevens. Soon after I arrived there, a steamboat came up with a band of music on board, and was received with shouts of joy. We could not imagine what produced so much excitement, — Mary was not at home, Mrs. Stevens said I must go up on the balcony upstairs, I was reluctant to do so as there was a wounded soldier up there, but she insisted, and I followed her. Lieut. Lacy was on the piazza, his leg supported on a chair, he was all afire with excitement at hearing the martial music. We soon found that all the music and excitement was caused by the fact that Gen. Price was on board; Mary soon returned, and we were all talking about the boat when Mr. Wade and Dr. Cummings came over to see her pass up, we went out on the Piazza and the doctor pointed out the Gen’l to us, he waved his hand very politely. Dr. Cummings told us that Julia and Tabitha went on board with him, and were introduced to the Gen. and his son.

In the afternoon Mary and I took a delightful walk up the river bank, it was just about sunset, and the river was beautiful, the banks too looked so green and all the trees were clothed in the soft verdure of Spring, Mary and I were filled with calm, happy delight, we better acquainted in that one short walk than we would in days of indoor life. I like Mary very much, she is so good in her family, and yet she is by no means dull, as some very good people are.

On our way home we stopped at Mrs. McGuire’s, Mary’s great Aunt, and saw some beautiful flowers. Mr. Ray came in while we were there, he enquired after Father, as every one did who saw me.

Mary and I had quite a race home, and in consequence our dress was somewhat disarranged, my hair was all down, and we remarked while smoothing our hair that we hoped no one would come in during the evening, as we did not feel like dressing. “Come” said Mary, “It is so warm let’s go out on the gallery” “Oh, Yes” I said, and we went out into the hall, who should we see but Dr. Strother standing quietly in the door. I think he must have heard our conversation, for we spoke in quite a loud tone of voice, at first sight of him we stood still in surprise, and then we all three laughed, of course an evening thus commenced could not but be spent agreeably, the doctor stayed till quite late, I was very much pleased with him, he has such frank, pleasant manners, and converses so agreeably.

Friday Miss Sarah Garrett spent the day at Mrs. Stevens’, just as we were rising from the table Mrs. Knox came up to visit Mrs. Stevens, her horses had run away about two miles from Monroe, and could not be stopped until just as they were dashing into the livery stable, they were caught by the keeper; Miss Knox, her daughter, came up soon after, she had been riding on horseback, and was much frightened about her Mother.

Friday evening was spent very pleasantly in conversation and singing. We walked out on the river bank after supper, the sky was bright with stars which were reflected in the glassy surface of the waters, while a house on the opposite bank was brightly reflected with all it’s lights, and seemed to the excited imagination a beautiful palace on the shore of some peaceful lake.

Saturday Mary and I went out to make some purchases, intending to go down to Major Bry’s afterwards. but we met him and he told us that his little grandchild had died that morning, and that he was just making preparations for it’s burial, so of course we did not go.

We called at Mrs. Wade’s, spent a very pleasant hour in her company. And then about twelve o’clock, Mary, Miss Knox and I went to Mrs. Garrett’s, where we met Miss Fanny Hardy, and at dinner Col. Bartlett (the Commander of this post who supersedes Gen. Blanchard) and Capt. Thomas.

Miss Hardy is a very pretty young lady, very much like Mrs. Drake in her manners. In the afternoon we were sitting in the parlour when Mrs. Garrett’s little son came in and whispered to his Mother, “Mr. Wm. Wadley has come”, I did not hear what he said, but I did hear Mrs. Garrett when she exclaimed “Miss Wadley, your Pa has come”. I bounded to the door, all agitation and delight, what was my disappointment when I saw Willie instead of Father; he said he did not wish to hurry me, but we would not have time to got home if we did not leave soon, so we took leave of Mrs. Garrett and returned to Mrs. Stevens’ immediately.

Here I found a most beautiful bouquet which Mrs. Wade had sent me.

I bade all goodbye, and left after obtaining a promise from Mary that she would come and spend a week with me as soon as Miss Knox left her. I had passed my week very pleasantly and gaily, but I was glad to be at home again, and see all the loved ones around me.

And Oh how beautiful my dear old hills look to me, all clad in the soft verdure of spring, how dear this Oakland is to me, almost as dear as our old home, from the west windows of the hall the prospect is perfectly beautiful. I ask no other happiness than such a home as this, surrounded by my loved ones, and feeling the pure joy of a heart and conscience at peace with God and the world.

Sunday I was very much fatigued and had a bad head ache in consequence of the late hours and excitement of the past week. Mother, Willie and Eva went to Church, and I spent the greater part of the morning in reading and resting. About one o’clock Johnny Davis and Berk Seale rode up, they remained until the afternoon. Johnny Davis said he was going to Vicksburg on Monday and would take any letters I had to send. I wrote to Father and to Miss Valeria; I had just received a letter from Miss Valeria Saturday morning, I know she will be surprised to get an answer so soon.

Tuesday, March 24th —

I commenced my school duties again yesterday, I am so glad to see that the usual routine of home does not appear distasteful to me after my week of pleasure, I had feared it would.

I was busy all the evening in setting out violets, a little before sunset Eva and I walked over to Mrs. Dawson’s, found Miss Fanny in bed, she has been very sick. Mrs. Dawson asked me if the country did not appear dull and lonesome after having been in town. I said “Oh no! the hills appear more beautiful than ever to me, and our place seems a perfect elysium, a second paradise”. Mrs. Dawson looked quite amazed.

I received a note from Miss Mattie Newcomb yesterday evening, it was full of high sounding phrases and affectionate endearments, she wishes me to come up and spend a week with her, I shall not do so, as I cannot spare another from my school, but I will go up there and spend the day soon.

It is now raining, commenced Sunday evening, and has continued at intervals ever since. —

Wednesday, March 25th —

Yesterday evening Miss Mary, Lory and I went out to ride, on the way back an old gentleman rode up behind us, Miss Mary and I were trying to avoid the mud and he addressed us, telling us there was no danger of miring, we then rode on faster and left him behind, but hearing him speaking to Loring, and thinking it looked impolite to leave him in that way, we checked our horses, he soon came up by my side and said, “Col. Wadley’s family, I presume”, I said yes, he then said, “I saw your Father in Jackson the other day,” of course then we were all excitement. I asked him if he was acquainted with my Father, “Oh yes”, he said, “I am Mr. Coleman” “Coleman” I repeated, “Col. Coleman from the swamp?”, he said yes, the same. I had met him before but should never have recognised him again. He said Father was well but “as busy as a bee”, he could not possibly come home now.

Mr. Floyd was camped at Mr. Noble’s place and he called to Col. Coleman, we then came on home, met a negro man who usually brings letters from the railroad, asked him if he had brought one “Yes M’am”.

“Who was it from?” “Mr. Wadley I believe, M’am”. I loosed the rein on Mollie’s neck and in a few moments was at home and reading the letter. Father said nothing about coming home, I cannot wish him to take all the fatigue of crossing the swamp now, but it is hard for him to be so near us and not to see him.

Mr. Floyd stayed here last night, he and Willie had early breakfast this morning. Willie left for the swamp, Mr. Floyd for Texas. We expect Willie back Friday.

Monday, March 30th/63. —

When Willie returned on Friday, he brought us a letter from Father, it was dated Vicksburg, and was written in such haste that we could hardly read it. Father says he cannot possibly come home now, every moment is busily occupied, and it would take so long to cross the swamp. Mr. Dawson brought the letter, he says Father was well. Mr. Dawson there is great risk in crossing the swamp now, of being taken by the Yankees, it was with difficulty he escaped them; he also says that the poor soldiers in Vicksburg are suffering very much for want of food, their bread is little better than pounded corn and their meat they will not eat, it is beef and nothing but gristle. Oh! how my heart bleeds for them, and it might all have been averted if proper steps had been taken a month ago. I feel so utterly powerless to do anything for them, but if I can do nothing else, I can bear without murmuring the great trial, of my Father’s absence. I know he is doing all he can for them.

Friday was fast day, we kept fast, and I attended Church in the morning, no work was done by the field negroes all day. Mother had a severe sick headache Friday and Saturday. Yesterday it changed very cold indeed, and last night was like winter.

Saturday night we had a very high wind, which blew down many trees, there were three large trees, one oak, two hickory blown down down in the grove back of the house.

Wednesday, April 8th —

It has been more than a week since I wrote any here, and yet the week has been full of events to me, we have had school only a few days out of the seven, for I have either been visiting or receiving company a great part of the time.

Tuesday I attended a little sociable at Mrs. Dawson’s, it was very pleasant indeed, we passed the evening in dancing, music and conversation, the young ladies of our circle were all there with quite a number of gentlemen for these times, there were Lieuts. Flournoy, Conrad, and Holland, Captains Martin and O’Ruke, and Dr’s Cummings and Compton, besides Adam Young and Willie.

Wednesday we all took a walk down to the Bayou, spent an hour or two sitting under the shade of a beautiful Beech tree or rambling through the surrounding woods, and returned home in time for dinner. Then the same afternoon we rode in to Mrs. Seale’s and came bank by moonlight.

Thursday, I believe, was spent quietly at home, in the afternoon Julia Compton came over and remained all night. Mother spent the day in Monroe.

Friday morning Miss Mary and Maggie Compton and Carrie Young and Adam came over, Miss Mary and Maggie had that morning walked down from their place, after staying several hours they all, Julia included, went over to Mrs. Dawson’s. In the evening I was not at all well, and lay down several hours.

Saturday Miss Mary and I were busy nearly all day, having upstairs swept and dusted, and putting up shades and arranging the furniture in the hall, which we shall use as a summer parlour.

Mrs. Compton had a party of young ladies and gentlemen at her house in the evenings, and invited me very cordially, but I had several reasons for declining, one was that I was not well enough to go.

I forgot to say that Willie left us Thursday for a business journey into the back parishes.

Monday I spent the day with a whole party of young ladies at Mrs. Seale’s, the Misses Dawson, the Misses Scott, the Misses Frazier, and Miss Slack were there, besides Mrs. Seale, Mrs. Norris and Lucy, in spite of all this company there seemed to be a pretty general ennui.

Monday night I was surprised and waked out of my sleep about half past ten or eleven o’clock by some one calling at the front door. I sat up in bed, half asleep and a little frightened, and called out Who’s there? “A traveller” “What do you want” “I want to stay all night" Mother said “tell him no”. I called back “You can’t stay, it is too late” “But I will stay”, those words were rather alarming, but fortunate for my presence of mind Mother recognised Willie’s voice. I then said “Oh, Willie, I know it is you, come in”. We were very much surprised to see him so soon, he said he could not buy anything, government agents had advertised for every thing, and he thought it was wrong to take it from the soldiers who need it so much, even if he could get it.

Mary Stevens and Miss Knox spent the day with me yesterday, we had a very pleasant day indeed. Mary and I called at Mrs. Dawson’s, the young ladies were at home, we found Miss Mary and Maggie Compton there, they had just left our house about an hour or more before.

Mother received a letter from Father last Monday, he was just on the eve of leaving for Virginia, said he would not reach Richmond before the first of May, as he had a great deal of business on the road, he said he would try and come home about the first of June, if the Yankees were away from the swamp then. It is almost impossible to cross to Vicksburg now, the Yankees have been and are still making “demonstrations" around Richmond Madison Parish.

Father says he has been trying to get time to write to me, but has not been able to do so yet, I have not expected it, but Father is so kind, so thoughtfull, Oh, can I ever love him enough!

I must now close this long journal, for we go into school again this morning, and I want to read some before I go.

Thursday, April 16th —

Have been expecting Mary Stevens out all the week, but she did not come and wrote me today that she could not come next week as she was to have company.

I have been feeling weak and sad all the time for the last few days, suppose my sadness arises partly from the state of my health, without being sick at all I find my health is less robust than it has been for a year, no wonder.

I have received letters from several friends during the week, one from Mary Waters this evening, she says that Miss Ginnie has been in New Orleans for the last four months, that they have only heard from her once, she writes that Banks is very different from Butler, encourages every one to express their opininions, she is afraid he will convert some by his kindness. We received some papers the other day from Father, containing Voorhee’s speech, it is beautifully written, and the sentiments are noble, the language is more polished than Vallandigham’s, but not more decided.

Willie saw Johnny Davis today, he says Mr. Myrick is at Natchez, sick, is threatened with typhoid fever. I hope he will not have it, he is just on the eve of marriage to a young lady in the swamp.

Saturday, April 17th —

We have just received a letter from Father, he was at Augusta, was quite well, and about to leave for Richmond.

Yesterday evening Carrie Young, Virginia Dawson and I took a ride, we met Mr. Kimball a few miles from Trenton, and Carrie asked him to ride with us, he did so. Virginia and I managed it so that they should ride together all the time, except a little way from Steep Bayou, coming home, when Virginia and Carrie sang, and I rode along with Mr. K. found him quite agreeable and intelligent in conversation.

Eva, Lory and I rode again this morning, I have commenced my morning rides again, fancy I can almost feel the improvement in my strength already.

Willie and Mr. Axley went down in the swamp yesterday, took two negroes with them to get some corn, there was no other way of getting it, and so Willie ventured, though it is rather near the Yankees, we expect them back Monday or Wednesday.

Yesterday John was very sick, we sent for the doctor, he said had inflammation of the bronchial tubes, he is much better today, has been running about the house all day.

Manuscript volume No. 3
May 16th, 1863 — Feb. 11th, 1864,
pp. 1 — 165


May 16th. 1863.

Just a month since my last entry in my old book! What a busy month it has been, I cannot record all that has happened but will give a few items.

About the 20th. of last month, Mrs. Stone (a lady from the swamp) came to Mother to get board for herself and family for a week; they had escaped from the swamp in haste and at night, lost all their clothing, except what was contained in one small trunk, and abandoned their house and furniture entirely to the Yankees and negroes. Mother was very reluctant to take them, but they urged it and she could not refuse persons in their situation, so they came, Mrs. Stone, Miss Kate, Rebecca and Jimmy and Johnny, they are a very pleasant family, have no small children Rebecca is eleven years old and a very nice, good little girl. Mrs. Stone has been here very little of the time, and Johnny and Jimmy have been away a great deal. Miss Kate is a very sweet young lady, so unaffected and agreeable. Mary Stevens came out and spent a week with me last month as she promised, it was a delightful week to me, that is (as pleasant as anything of that kind is, now when there is a continual trouble upon us all). Monday evening we were all looking at Gen’l Walker’s division which was passing, and had just returned from the grove, when a gentleman rode up and inquired if we could accommodate Mrs. Maclay, wife of the adjutant inspector general, he said the Gen. was at Dr. Young’s but they could not take Mrs. Maclay, Mother said yes and they soon drove up (Mrs. Maclay and his little girl Nannie). She travels all around with her husband, has an ambulance nicely fitted up and is quite as comfortable as possible under the circumstances; she remained here until this morning, her husband Major Maclay was in the old army. All Gen. Walker’s staff were camped over on Dr. Young’s hill; they were young men and were quite agreeable, we saw a great deal of them, several came over every day. Tuesday evening we had a little soiree, invited the Misses Dawson, Carrie Young and Julia Compton besides the gentlemen of the staff, Mr. Axley fiddled for us and we danced and spent a very pleasant evening, the company did not leave until past two o’clock. Thursday we dined at Mrs. Compton’s with the same party, went to dress parade in the evening but were too late, went again yesterday evening and saw Col. Flournoy’s regiment parade, I had never seen it before and was perfectly delighted. I went in the ambulance with Mrs. Maclay and took all the children, Miss Mary went with Maggie Compton. Major Maclay was very kind to get us a good position and then to stand by and tell us about all the evolutions; he is such a very pleasant man, I like him very much and his wife is also very plain and agreeable. Last night we were at Mrs. Dawson’s until twelve, the evening was quite pleasant, the starlight was beautiful. Major French drove me down in our buggy, he is a very pleasant man, so kind and yet gay enough and intelligent, besides him there were Major Mason, Major Stone, Captain Galt and Captain Smith, all Virginians except Major Stone from Arkansas. We had some quite pleasant incidents happen in connection with these soldiers. Saturday one came here for his dinner, and after dinner asked for some music, Miss Mary sang for him, and he seemed very much pleased, the soldiers were then on they way to Alexandria, but after the news of the fall of that place reached us, they were ordered back, and this soldier in company with another stopped here on Sunday for some water, they had some water and milk and rested awhile and then went on after saying that they wished it were not Sunday so they could hear some music, we also regretted it. On Monday Haw’s brigade passed and we went down in the grove to see them, Eva and Rebecca Stone were at the fence giving water to the soldiers, poor fellows! Tramping along the dusty road, they looked so warm that Mother had buckets of water carried down to the fence for them, they crowded around the buckets like bees and seemed so grateful, among these was the second soldier who came on Sunday, he said he would like to hear some singing and Eva told him to come up to the house and her sister would sing for him, we laughed and thought no more of it but looking in a few minutes we saw three men riding up to the door, sure enough they had come for the music, so we came in and gave them some, they stayed about an hour, and we found that the prominent one of the party was of the Georgia family of Tuckers, all of whom we had heard off, and had met some. Mother gave them some milk before they left and Miss Mary and Miss Kate put some flowers in their hats, when Mr. Tucker went to tell us goodbye the tears came in his eyes as he asked to know the name of those to whom he was so much indebted. The division is composed of strong, fine looking men, well clothed and apparently well drilled. The camp looked so nice yesterday evening when we went there, it was all swept so nicely and the men looked cheerful and busy, some were shaking out their blankets, some cooking, some playing marbles, some watering horses, and engaged in all manner of diverse occupations; but though the sight was cheerful yet it made me feel sad, I think in these scenes of those that are gone forever. Major French and Major Mason came over this morning to bid us goodbye; we feel very quiet today after having so much excitement as we have had for the past week.

Mrs. Stone and Jimmy are in Delhi, getting some negroes from their plantation. Willie has been as busy as possible for the past week arranging to have the railroad negroes brought over this side of the river, they are here now, about seventy. Poor Willie is getting quite pale and thin again, I hope all this fatigue will not make him sick again. The weather is quite cool for this season of the year, it is warm at Mid day but the mornings and evenings are almost cold.

Tuesday May 26th/ ’63.

We have three more “lodgers” now, really our house seems quite elastic, we thought it full to overflowing when Mrs. Stone came, but now we accommodate these ladies very well. Willie gave up his room and took an unfinished one on the north side of the house. Mother would not have taken these ladles but the circumstances of their case were so sad she could not refuse. Mrs. Barr and her daughter Mrs. Morancy are both widows. Mrs. Morancy was only a wife eighteen months, and her husband died recently, she has a little baby eight or nine months old. Mrs. Barr has lost two grown sons within the last two years, was obliged to leave her plantation, and lost a great deal, her house with all her furniture was burnt by her negroes a few days after she left it, her family now consists of her widowed daughter, a young lady daughter, Miss Julia, and Mr. Bowmar Barr and wife; they are all scattered about, the two first here, Miss Julia at Mrs. Dortch’s and the young couple (they have only been married three or four months) are keeping house at a cabin on Dr. Temple’s land, I an so sorry for them, the cabin is built of logs without any ceiling or a single window; how hard it is for families to be separated in this way. We are really fortunate in our “lodgers,” they are all such pleasant people. Mrs. Barr seems to be a very sweet lady, — her troubles, though many, have not soured her disposition at all.

Friday June 5th / ’63.

Here is a beautiful little poem, a translation from the german, which Mrs. Morancy has lent me to copy —

Sweet earth that holds my brightest treasure
Be wept upon by gentle skies,
Blest grave that keeps the lovely thing
From her sweet dust let violets spring.
Dear winds that sweep the tiny bed
Breathe lulling music o’er her head.
Hush thy wild voice of fear great storm
Fright not the little sleeping form;
Beat not the turf to cause her pain
Weep quiet tears sweet summer rain.
Weave thou a fairy shroud dear snow
For the bright flower that sleeps below.
Drop richly here sweet sun, set bright
And dress my child in raiment light.

Green leaves make whisper o’er her rest
And soothe her dreams on earth’s cold breast.
O! gentle water running near
Murmur sweet comfort to her ear,
Build here thy nest, oh sing dove mild!
Talk softly to my lonely child;
Dear dove make too a plaintive moan
For the sad Mother left alone.
Oh, white winged angels! softly bear
My darling up heaven’s golden stair.
Dear Christ! who lovest the little child
Take to thyself my undefiled!

I find many tastes and feelings in common with Mrs. Morancy, and like her very much, I feel so irresistably drawn towards her, I suppose it is because she has suffered so much, and from what I can judge has been strengthened and purified by suffering; nothing develops and enobles the heart and mind, like sorrow, received as from the hand of a tender Father not an avenging God. Sometimes I begin to faint in the course I have marked out for myself, I often feel afraid that I am not doing good to those to benefit whom is the aim of my life, I suffer much from the thought that in the end harm may result from my best endeavours. Loring told me the other day, in a passion, that I never could teach him anything and he often says that I am not doing him good but making him worse, scarcely a day passes that he or Eva does not get into a passion with me and say things which cause me much pain; and yet I try in every possible way to make them love me and to persuade them to learn. How much need have we of faith and how true is it that it must be precept upon precept and line upon line, I could be perfectly patient if I were only sure of the end; often do I repeat to myself the texts “overcome evil with good,” and “those that continue unto the end shall be saved.” And there are some moments in which Loring and Eva repay me for all the pain they give, Lory especially has, I believe, begun to think lately of many things, his questions upon the bible both surprise and delight me, he never allows anything in our morning chapter to pass without explanation. George too is advancing, he knows all his letters and a few little words. I do not let him study in those dull a — b, abs and b — a bas, but have put him to read in a little book of monysyllables; my darling never refuses to come to say his lesson and though sometimes a little playful and unwilling to confine his attention to the book, he is never in a passion with me and a few words of commendation or reproof will quiet him immediately; my greatest fear for him is the want of truth; I cannot rely upon what he says, if it has at least a ground work of truth it is always exaggerated and many adventitious circumstances added to make up the picture. I am afraid I myself have fostered this disposition by encouraging him ever since he could speak until during a year past, to tell me stories which had no foundation whatever, but which he told so earnestly that he almost believed them; I thought that in acting thus I was cultivating his imagination, I succeeded it is true, but at the cost of truth, and I deeply regret the course I pursued.

June is here at last, long looked for as it has been, but Father has not come; Oh! when shall we see him! what would I not give to feel the touch of that hand again; six, almost seven months have past and we have not seen him. Oh! what events have occurred in that time, what a winter, I cannot bear to think of it, and yet it presses itself constantly upon me. It seems now that the next month is big with consequences to our nation, nay to the world; we hear that four Generals, Johnston and Bragg, and Rosencrans and Grant are concentrating large armies near Vicksburg, and we hear from the best and most direct sources that the Yankee dead lie in heaps about our entrenchments; it is horrible to relate, sickening to think, but so curious a fact that I must note it down, all the vultures have left this country, a carcass may lie for days untouched, those creatures have gone eastward in search of nobler game; how terrible is war!

While such great and momentous scenes are enacted so near us, I feel hushed in awe and anxiously wait for the eventful future. God grant that we may be successful, I believe we are in the right, yet who can know the inscrutable designs of His in whose sight a thousand years are as one day and as a watch in the night when it is past. I am constantly occupied, occupation is life to me, and I find no lack of it, visiting or receiving visits occupys most of my evenings after five, and I am in the schoolroom from nine till dinner at one. Then generally a ride of an hour after breakfast is spent in riding, and though I rise at five I seldom leave my room until a few minutes before breakfast at seven, lately much of my time has been occupied in braiding and making a palmetto hat for Adam Young, his sister made one for Willie, and I thought it only right that I should return the compliment, this I intend to finish this evening, and then I hope to have more time for reading. I have read so little since Father left and I had marked out so many books to finish before he returned. I commenced the “history of civilization” by Guisot the other day but have read very little. I have been intending to write this journal for many days but have never taken the time until now, I think sometimes I attempt to do so many things that they are all neglected.

Tuesday June 9th / ’63.

Miss Kate, Willie and I attended a fish fry on Crew lake yesterday, the party was very small, only Mrs. Willson’s family, Mary Stevens, and Miss Sarah Garrett and Mrs. Proctor, with a few gentlemen; we rose at half past two, rode into town, and met the rest of the party at the cars at about five o’clock, we spent the morning very pleasantly in the woods, fishing, walking and talking, Mrs. Proctor afforded me a great deal of amusement, she is one of the gay widows whom one meets with so often in books; has a large bunch of small curls on each side of her face, and a net trimmed with bugles, waving behind, a complexion which is a happy mingling of brown and flushy red, a hooked nose, retreating forehead, and a wide mouth always open and showing very good teeth, her head dress yesterday was a black hat trimmed with blue ribbons, over which was thrown a black lace veil which never descended to cover her face; she has a nervously lively air, talks in a high key and shakes her curls, throws back her head, and laughs at almost every word spoken either by herself or another; her great affectation of youth ill accords with the number of wrinkles on her face, and her general shriveled appearance; yet with all this ludicrous and disgusting appearance and manner she seems to be generally liked, so I suppose she must have some redeeming qualities. We took the cars at about four O’clock, and after a short ride of twelve miles reached Shonroc where bidding goodbye to our friends, we took the way home. I heaved a sigh of relief as we entered the enclosure and drove up through the grove, I felt perfectly exhausted by a day spent in the pursuit of pleasure, even though the object had been attained. This morning we commenced again our quiet routine though I felt little like it, I am better now though, do not feel so languid as when we commenced school. Loring accompanied us to the fish fry yesterday, and today he felt so tired and his eyes were so much inflamed from cinders that I did not take him into school. Eva has given me some trouble this morning, I was obliged to keep her in, though I disliked very such to do so, I wish she would take more interest in her studies, yet I never punish her for anything except ill behaviour. We heard yesterday that there had been a battle at Milliken’s bend between part of Walker’s brigade and a force of negroes mixed with a few Yankees, it is said that the Yankees at the first onset left their allies and fled but the negroes fought desperately, and would not give up until our men clubbed muskets upon them, we lost three hundred killed and wounded and it is said there were three thousand of the negroes killed; it is terrible to think of such a battle as this, white men and freemen fighting with their slaves, and to be killed by such a hand, the very soul revolts from it, Oh, may this be the last.

Today I am to commence a regular system in the division of my time, I find that I do not read any lately, my time is taken up with other things and with so such company constantly coming in and going out, so I have determined to set apart two hours every afternoon to reading, and not to break my rule except on an extraordinary occasion.

We have had no rain yet, and need it dreadfully, the dust is stifling and if we do not have rain this week, our prospect for corn will be ruined; it is very warm now too, real summer weather such as I like if it only were not so dry.

Wednesday June 10th / ’63.

At length it has come, the long desired, welcome rain, all day long it has been alternately shower and sunshine, and just now it was raining, really raining, oh! how delightful, to sit in my room all alone with my book, hearing not a sound except the quick fall of the rain, and looking out upon the freshening landscape smiling through its misty veil. Bless God for the rain, the life giving, soul refreshing rain, and now though the drops fall more slowly clouds are over the sky and still “from cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn,” in the west a beautiful golden light shines through the trees and rises higher and higher in the sky. What a refreshing smell arising from the grateful earth as it eagerly drinks in the much needed rain. When looking on such a scene, and breathing such air, I unconsciously recall the scripture comparing the rain’s coming to the thirsty earth with the mercy of God coming to the sinner’s heart.

June 12th. Saturday.

Oh! how shall I write the joyful event of this evening, Father has come! once more I have seen him, heard that dear voice and felt the touch of his hand. This evening I was at Mrs. Dortch’s when Willie came along and called me saying “here is Pa,” I thought I heard him and ran out to the gate, when I reached there and asked Willie what he said, he answered “Only that I had some gum arabic for you.” I knew that was not it and persisted “Who is behind you.” “Why Dr. Young.” I felt so sick with disappointment but Willie told me to look in the buggy and see if I knew any one there. It is useless to attempt to describe my transports, sobs and tears burst forth and I had no power to control them. Father came out of the buggy and we walked home together, our arms around each other. I could not realize that it was indeed Father, that my arm was once more around him, when we reached the top of the hill all the children ran to meet us, little John did not know what to say or do, he was perfectly astonished. The first sentence Georgie said was “Pa I can read now.” What a joy it was for Mother, oh how delightful to be together once more, all the servants came up to shake hands with Father, they were all so pleased to find him at home again. Oh, how thankful I am for this great blessing. My heavenly Father to thee I owe it all, oh teach me how to thank thee in an acceptable way. Father says he met Mrs. Buckner opposite Natchez, she crossed in safety, she left here on Wednesday the 7th. Father left Georgia a week ago Thursday, not two weeks on the way, he says he had not near so much difficulty in getting over as he anticipated, took a boat at Trinity and came up to Monroe. It is so late I cannot write any longer.

Friday, June 19th / ’63.

Mrs. Stone and her family left for Texas on Wednesday, it seems strange not to have them in the house, they had been here so long (nearly two months) that we miss them almost as if they were members of the family. Miss Kate went away with tears as they all did, they have a long and wearisome route before them, and at the end nothing but uncertainty and discomfort. I hope we may never have to move to Texas, Father does not think it will be necessary to move at all unless Vicksburg falls and if it does, if that most melancholy event should ever happen, we would go to Georgia if possible; Father has had an offer made him to take charge of some iron works in Dade County and, I think, sometimes inclines to accept it and leave Louisiana forever; this idea is terrible to me, to leave my home, this place which is now associated with all the joys and sorrows of the most impressible period of life; would be to sunder many ties, the dearest, strongest of my nature, there is no other spot in the world to which I feel a home attachment; every tree here has for me an expression, for the past two years I have looked upon this as a future home and all my plans, my hopes, are connected with it; but if father thinks it best to leave here, how can I complain as long as I am with him, while my parents are spared me, I must always have a home, and if we must go anywhere Georgia is the place I should choose, that dear old state of which I feel a proud tender feeling and must always feel it wherever may be my home. I received a letter from Miss Valeria yesterday telling me all about the Yankee raid near Hazelhurst and saying that, should Vicksburg fall, they would move to Georgia or Alabama, to be with her I would sacrifice much.

We all went out on the pay train with Father yesterday, had a very pleasant ride to Delhi and back again. Delhi is full of soldiers, but they are not organized as they should be in their camps, but are lounging all about the streets and around the cars; it is reported that the Yankees have burned Richmond and are advancing on Delhi, but nothing is certain, all the citizens of Richmond have left and some say they saw the place in flames, some ladies walked a great part of the way from Richmond to Delhi. Monroe is full of sick and wounded soldiers, the hospitals are crowded and the patients are suffering for conveniences, the organization is so bad that the soldiers are half fed, and come around to all the private houses to get something to eat. The ladies are all busy preparing lint and bandages and making preserves for them, we are going to commence today. We have had several refreshing showers lately, refreshing both to us and to the parched fields end gardens.

Wednesday July 1st. / ’63.

I have neglected my journal for so long that I do not know now where to begin, there is so much to write. A day or two after Mrs. Stone left, we had an application to board some one — even the fashionable Mrs. Amos or rather the rich Mrs. Amos and daughter and two servants. Mother refused of course, they are staying with Mrs. Dawson, a friend, and they have a place in Jackson parish, and are not distressed in any way. Our intercourse with them has not been very pleasant. The first time I saw Miss Amos was the morning she called here with her Mother to get board, I thought her agreeable and sensible, when I called on her, as usual, I was less pleased; she has not returned my call and I suppose will not do so. Monday night I was invited to spend the evening there, at first I wrote a note declining, but afterwards at Mother’s advice destroyed that and accepted. I was quite sorry that I did not adhere to my original decision, I arrived there when the moon was shining brightly, just at that charming hour when moonlight and twilight mingle, but the young ladies were at the toilette, I remained alone about fifteen minutes when Mrs. Amos and Virginia returned from a ride and gave me the pleasure of their company for nearly an hour, when Dr. Strother and Lieut. Murdock drove up, in a short time the young ladies appeared, one after another, almost forgot to bid me good evening, and occupied themselves no more with my entertainment, there were no other young ladies there except myself, Carrie Young had been invited but was away from home and of course did not come. There were six gentlemen there from town, and the evening passed away tolerably. I do not think that I shall ever accept another invitation at that house, or visit except very formally.

The wife and daughter of Captain Jesse Smith were here yesterday and the night before, they left this morning. Appear honest, good and frank hearted people, but Oh so fat, Miss Smith weighs two hundred and fifty pounds, and is only seventeen! she is really immense, and it is a actual fat too, I pity the poor (?) girl, she feels it too, they invited me very cordially to come up and pay them a visit, perhaps I may; they are very comfortably established with fine orchards, garden and everything around them, but still there is a certain magnetic repulsion which makes me shrink from the thought of spending my time in their company; this shrinking from anything coarse or inelegant in mind or manners is so strong in me that I don’t think I can ever overcome it, I have too great a love for elegant surroundings, and am in danger of confounding the spiritual with the merely earthly and so letting the earthly triumph. This morning we went to Major Waddell’s to attend the funeral of his baby and his brother’s, but in consequence of some mistake in the coffins, it was deferred till this evening. It was a sweet and affecting sight, the two little frail forms lying side by side in angelic repose, a veil of white thrown over them hid whatever was disagreeable in their features, all was beautiful and peaceful, one could imagine them soaring thence to heaven; the two little cousins, both girls, were nearly the same age, affected by the same symptoms and died within twenty four hours of each other. Mrs. Dr. Waddell was quite resigned, but her sister law grieved much for the departed little one. Mrs. Morancy and Mrs. Bowmar Barr went to the funeral this evening, the other two ladies remained there all day, I returned home this morning with a violent headache which was just going off when they left so I did not accompany them. Willie returned from the salt works last Thursday after an absence of a week. Yesterday he and Loring went to the flour mills at Downsville, sixteen miles from here, to get our wheat ground, but the mill was out of order and could not grind this week, so they returned today.

We have not had any school for the past two weeks, first on account of Father’s return, and last week because we expected Mrs. Barr to leave daily and Mother said I had better not have school, but I shall endeavour to commence next Monday. Father has been spending every other day for more than a week in the blacksmith shop, one day he is president of the road, the next takes up his old familiar trade, he is repairing the wagons and the carriage, getting everything ready in case we should have to move. We have not yet heard any decisive news from Vicksburg, there was a great victory reported to have taken place there, but we have not yet heard it confirmed and consequently can place no reliance on it. We had a sick soldier with us all last week, or rather a convalescent, he was an honest, quiet and modest person, seldom conversed, but was very sensible, his name was John Scott. The man who brought him here said he was a good and faithful soldier never lagging or feigning sickness, he expressed a great desire to get back to the army —

Saturday, July 4th / 63.

I really had forgotten, or rather had not thought, that this was the eventful fourth until I wrote the date of this entry; alas we have no time now to celebrate the birthday of a liberty which we had nearly lost and are now struggling so hard to maintain. I have heard nothing of any celebration today, we have little heart for it now, little heart for any joy even the purest, which brings so powerfully to our minds the glorious past but is at the time associated with thoughts of our bitterest foes.

Mr. Scott returned day before yesterday, he was taken sick again and looked almost as badly as when he first came. But I must note the extraordinary event which took place yesterday. About half past twelve o’clock we were all sitting down quietly in the hall sewing, braiding palmetto, busy in a great many ways, in fact we were so busy talking and working that we did not as usual hear the gate latch or the rolling of wheels until Loring ran up saying “here’s an ambulance, here’s the staff!” We were indeed surprised, they came up so suddenly that we had no time to dress at all. Mother was dressed in a purple morning gown trimmed with white, very pretty and neat, but not fit to receive gentlemen in, we all looked quite as well as could be expected but if we had not, there was no help for it, for before we were aware of their neighbourhood the ambulance had stopped and the elegant Major Mason was approaching the door. Mother had only time to whisper “and Major Mason too!” as she advanced to receive him, he was accompanied by Capt. Gault and Capt. French, the last a nephew of my favorite the Major, I was very sorry he had not come instead of the nephew. Of course Mother, the housekeeper, thought at once of her dinner, expecting of course they would remain, under this mistaken idea she came out into the hall when they had been there about half an hour and asked “if the gentlemen would not like to wash their faces after their dusty ride” the poor gentlemen were much embarrassed, I dare say they thought their faces were dirty. Major Mason recovered himself with his usual quickness, and jumping up said in a rather flurried manner “thank you ma’am, as far as I am concerned it would give me a great deal of pleasure,” poor Capt. Gault thought he must follow, in his excitement be rose, hemmed and blushed, looked first at Major Mason and then at Mother, and then swung off to the room behind Maj. M. and Capt. French. It was really a most amusing thing, to think they should have dressed up in their best, Maj. Mason especially in clean, starched and trimmed shirt, buttoned with costly and beautiful studs, his hair brushed just so, and particularly parted behind, fine ring on his finger, and his whole person redolent of perfumes, and withal a face cleansed or every spec, and in this toilet come to call on the ladles and indulging in a fine flow of eloquence, to be asked unceremoniously to wash his face, no wonder he was surprised out of his usual elegant self possession, but Mother was perfectly innocent, his toilet was lost on her, she asked him to wash his face as if he had been a common soldier. I dare say they had a good laugh when they reached the cool seclusion of my room, my room too, only think of it. I was really provoked when I saw them filing in. Notwithstanding this little mistake, their visit was very pleasant; a few minutes before dinner was announced they rose to go, but we asked them to remain to dinner and they very readily consented, and remained some time after. I enjoyed their visit a good deal particularly as it was quite a surprise and a very unusual thing too, novelty gives zest to anything. I was really surprised as well as gratified during their visit by a little episode which displayed Capt. Gault’s character in a more favourable light than I had before regarded it, this was as follows, we were speaking of the wounded soldiers in Monroe and their desperate condition, deprived as some are, of both hands or both legs, I said I had rather die than live thus, yes he said, if mortal hopes and pleasures were only to be consulted, but the question would always rise what must come after death. So entirely unexpected was this from one whose character I had conceived to be so dissolute and thoughtless as his, that I could scarcely answer, he went on to say that it was a feeling so deeply implanted in a man’s heart by his Mother that he could never forget it, that it was the one remembrance of a Mother’s teaching which he had never cast off, but which often returned to his, and the more bitterly as he had no doubt what his final destination would be, this last was said in a light tone as if ashamed of his former seriousness, but when he brushed his hand over his eyes and forehead I thought they were not very calm; though he soon returned to subjects of conversation both distasteful and uninteresting to me. I think that he is perhaps a man of really good mind and originally good feelings but in conversation with young ladies feels himself obliged to conceal the former by a display of dissipated frivolity; as to the latter, his good feelings appear to have been either perverted or smothered by frequent disappointments and by a life that has been by no means pure. Oh how soon I have learned the sad lesson that sin is indeed in the world, I would I were innocent of this knowledge, Oh for the spotless purity and ignorance of Hawthorne’s white souled Hilda! I have learned the bitter lesson too soon and too well, the sin of Adam presses sorely upon me, I cannot read the story of his fall without sadness, almost tears.

It makes me sad to think of the situation of our country, particularly of poor Louisiana at this time. There seems too be no law or order on this side the Mississippi, all is in confusion. Father is now involved in a controversy between civil law and military tyranny. A week or two ago, Capt. Oliver, the commisary at Monroe, sent word to Father that the cars must leave early Sunday morning to carry some necessaries to the camp at Delhi. This was not the day for the cars and Father went up to see Capt. Oliver, ascertained that the provisions were not ready and that it was not necessary they should be sent until the regular train day, he then explained to the commissary that the railroad and the engines were wearing out, that they could not bear a daily train and finally that he could not send it out, about nine o’clock they sent a courier out here with an order to send the train or the railroad would be pressed. Father remained firm to what he considered his duty; and that night they did press the road, Mr. McGuire refused to serve them, they threatened him with arrest; Mr. Myrick and Mr. McKinney, the engineer, were told to run the train or go into the conscript camp, they chose the former; but the commissary soon tired of his bargain, the train went down Sunday, but none of the indispensable articles were carried, and during the day seven messengers were sent to Mr. McGuire to prevail on him to receive the railroad again, he told them that as they had no right to take it, so they had no right to deliver it to him, but finally said that if it was abandoned he might take possession, it was immediately abandoned. Father instituted a legal process against the seizure which has no warrant in either civil or military law. No man is willing to do more for his country, or to sacrifice more for it than my Father, but no man is more firm in resisting tyranny or maintaining those rights which make our country dear. Last week the trains had gone to Delhi to bring Walker’s division to Monroe, but on receiving a contradictory order from General Smith they were to disembark. Col. Randall, commanding a brigade in the division, sent a peremptory order to the conductor to back down, he replied that would do so as soon as the train was ready, but the engineer said in a low tone, not meant for the ears of the official, “We don’t obey Gen’l Randall here, if he had requested us to back down we would have done it,” this idle speech was reported to Gen’l Randall and he had McKinney put in irons and lodged in the jail, saying that he should remain there for the rest of the war. Was not this an outrage on liberty? I heard however that Gen’l Walker had ordered the man to be released but yesterday he was still in jail, and Mr. Ray had gone down to compel his release as an officer of the civil law. Father was very angry when he heard of this tyrannical proceeding, he was indignant that such should have happened in our own country, it reminds us of Lincoln’s proceedings. —

Tuesday July 7th / ’63.

Mrs. Noble and Annie paid us a visit yesterday, they stayed all night and left this morning, Annie is growing to be quite a pretty girl.

Last night twenty soldiers, recruits from Texas to Walker’s division, camped at our gate, they came up to borrow cooking utensils. Mrs. Bowmar Barr was playing on the piano quite late, and three of them came up to hear some music! it was such a good trait in their characters, I thought. Like all the soldiers we have ever met they seem well behaved. We hear bad news from Vicksburg, some say that it has fallen, some that it is about to fall, I can only hope and trust; Oh God, desert us not in this our extremity! All is dark and uncertain, we cannot look into the gloomy future even a day. Willie and his wagons leave for Shreveport today, they are going for coffee and also to take some wheat to mill at Minden, not far this side of Shreveport. Loring begged so hard to go with Willie that Mother consented, he seems to anticipate a great deal of pleasure on the road, it is a new thing to him. Father has gone into Monroe today, but will be in the blacksmith’s shop tomorrow, he keeps working steadily, putting all the vehicles in running order, in case we should have to become refugees in our turn. — Mrs. Compton and Maggie paid us a visit yesterday afternoon, Julia was out riding and stopped to see me, I really envied her when I saw her galloping by, I have not mounted Mollie for a month or more, her back is healed up now, and I am only waiting for the hair to grow out well before I commence riding her again, I dare say I shall have a hard struggle with her at first, she has been so long running wild, and this is not necessary for she is never tame.

Thursday July 9th. / ’63.

Willie and Loring left for Shreveport Tuesday, we miss them very much indeed, it seems like a week since they left, it is hard to bid anyone goodbye in these times. Mrs. Barr, Mrs. Morancy and Miss Julia left us yesterday morning to visit Mrs. Mahier, a friend of theirs in Jackson parish, they expect to return Saturday, our family is very small now and the house feels lonesome. Mr. Scott is still here, he improves but slowly. We were very busy yesterday finishing an organdie dress which Miss Kate Stone gave me, it looks very pretty and is very becoming to me. There were some tableaux and charades last night in town, given by the young ladies for the benefit of the hospital, Mrs. Stevens invited Miss Mary and I to stay all night at her house, but we had no way to go. Father is busy working at the carriage again today, he has nearly finished it.

Thursday night.

Vicksburg has fallen, Vicksburg, our hope and pride! Oh, it is terrible; we would not believe it until today, but now it seems certain. Oh God, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, all is dark, all hearts are sad, this is the worst blow we have had. We hear that it was surrendered on Saturday morning at ten o’clock, the fourth of July, hereafter a day of mourning and humiliation to us, of redoubled exultation to our hated enemies. Oh, it is bitter after all our confidence thus to have the Yankees threats and prophecies fulfilled. They say that our soldiers had no bread for two months, and lived on mule’s flesh for a month before the surrender. I do not know what is true, but it is all the fault of Gen’l Pemberton and his subordinates, one thing we know, Vicksburg is gone, that is enough.

Sunday, July 12th.

A soldier is here from Vicksburg, left there on parole on the eighth, says the city surrendered for want of provisions, a mule was killed for meat to his knowledge, he says. Oh I am bowed to the dust with humiliation when I think of it. My God, my God why hast thou forsaken us, I cannot be resigned to thy will in this, it is too hard, our pride, our bulwark is gone, this is the end of our confidence and boasting. And it is the fault of our own Generals, well may every true patriot execrate the name of Pemberton. The Yankees are advancing on Delhi, our forces are preparing to fight them. Oh for victory. All is dark, I cannot look ahead. I shudder to think of the future. Should the Confederacy fall I feel I can never know joy again, but it cannot, must not fall, we fight for honour, liberty, life itself, we shall yet redeem our name, our former glorious name. Only this morning the calm brightness of the Sabbath invigorated my saddened soul. I trusted in God and I will yet trust in him from whom cometh my salvation.

Thursday, July 16th. 1863.

Mrs. Barr and family returned Monday morning, they found Eva sick with diptheria, she was taken Saturday evening with sore throat but she so often has it that we thought nothing of it, but Sunday she was so sick that we sent for the doctor, he pronounced it the dreaded diptheria. Eva was very much frightened and allowed him to cauterize her throat and took the medicine he left without any resistance, yesterday evening the doctor said her throat was much better, she has the disease in a very mild form. Little Jim was taken with it Tuesday, has it quite badly, I hope it will not spread among the little children. Mrs. Morancy was so much alarmed for Jennie that she took her down to Mrs. Waddell’s. Miss Julia is there too, so we have only Mrs. Barr with us. Our salt wagons arrived Tuesday noon, said Willie and Loring were well when they left there, all the government stores are being hauled from Monroe, so the wagons did not return, and we expect Willie and Lory the last of this week, I am very anxious to see them. Yesterday Miss Mary and I packed the books. Oh it was a sad work to me, it brought forcibly to my mind all the hopes, the bright golden dreams I had indulged in here, and which were, many of them, connected with these books. I had thought I should never again have the melancholy task of packing them. Oh my home, my dear home how can I leave it, it seems as if it would break my heart, and I know I shall never return, never see this place except as the dwelling of another, it may be an illusion but in my eyes it is a beautiful place, and I had projected so many improvements. And than the bitterest thought of all is Vicksburg, had it not been for this we need not have left home, but gladly would I have gone if this bitter humiliation could have been spared us. Miss Mary and the children look forward with bright anticipations to their journey to Texas and residence in San Antonio de Bexar, but I have no bright anticipations, usually so fond of weaving bright joys in the future I cannot now look forward, a mist shuts in my mind like the mist which has hung over our hills for several days, only the past is ever present with me. I know these feelings are wrong, how many have suffered more than we have, Mrs. Barr for instance, deprived of her two sons, the one her pride and stay, the other her pet and darling, her daughter a widow, her surviving son with no talent for business and little energy, she has lost much of her property and knows not where to go or what to do, we are still united, I feel this blessing and am thankful.

Saturday, July 18th. 1863.

Georgie, my darling, was taken yesterday evening with the diptheria, we sent immediately for the doctor but he could not come till late, and as Georgie was asleep and had no fever he would not disturb him to look at his throat, I hope he will come early this morning; Father was not at all well yesterday, retired before supper. We had a joyful surprise yesterday in the return of Willie and Loring, it was very unexpected indeed, Willie returned immediately from Shreveport, he could not get any coffee except at six dollars a pound by the sack, they would not sell a smaller quantity, so he did not get any, not knowing what a panic might be in Monroe by the time he returned. Major MaClay and Major Mason called to see us last night, Major Maclay as usual was very entertaining notwithstanding he was suffering from neuralgia in the face, he told me some very interesting things about Texas and San Antonio which I shall lay up in my memory. Father did not see the gentlemen as he had retired and was so unwell. Julia Willson and Tabitha Scarborough called here yesterday evening on their return from a horseback ride, I was very glad to see them, they are on the eve of moving to Homer and thence to Texas. I shall be very sorry to part with them, I have few such pleasant acquaintances this side of the Mississippi, but we are going so soon it matters little, I dare say we will meet again in some of our wanderings.

Monday, July 20th.

Georgie’s throat was very much inflamed but proved not to be the diptheria, he is as well as usual now. The doctor is here this morning at work at Jim’s throat; he says it is not necessary to cauterize Eva’s throat again, she is fast getting well, sat up all day yesterday, and is up and dressed this morning, but she looks badly and is still careful of her diet. We took a ride in the carriage Saturday evening, principally to give Eva an airing, it was delightful riding, as we returned home Miss Carrie Young and Capt. Gault, Virginia Dawson and Capt. Smith on horseback overtook us, we did not see the last couple, but Carrie and her cavalier seemed enjoying themselves highly. Father had a fever yesterday and sent for the doctor, but he was sick and could not come, this morning he is up though feeling badly, and Mother gave him a dose of medicine before the doctor came.

The troops from the convalescent camp passed here yesterday, there were seven here at different meals through the day, in the evening two surgeons called in, their pretext was a drink of water, but they stayed some time after they had gotten it, one was Dr. Head, who called here one night for supper while the troops were camped at Trenton the first time. The troops are going by today, I hear some wagons passing now. They are in different health and different spirits from when they passed before, no wonder, poor fellows! Mr. Scott was here to dinner yesterday, said be was no better than when he left.

Sunday, July 26th. / 1863.

Today I have had once more the pleasure of hearing the service and an excellent sermon from the lips of an episcopal minister, Mr. Lawson of Bastrop. Mrs. Dortch told us last week that he was to preach at Monroe today, and I was of course anxious to go. Miss Mary, Eva, Willie, Loring and I went in, it was exceedingly dusty and very warm, but I was amply repaid for the long and wearisome ride for the pleasure I had in Church, it is the first time in more than two years since I have been in any Church but this one here, and my emotion amounted almost to pain as the impressive service commenced and the music of the melodeon, how sweet and solemn! The text was, “What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visiteth him,” and well was it treated. Oh, how I felt my own nothingness, my selfishness and vanity while I listened, and more than all these I felt the grace and mercy of God, grace of which I am so unworthy. I caught a very bad cold on Friday, and feared I should not be well enough to go, but this morning when I rose I was surprised and thankful to find my head free from pain and my cold almost gone.

Rose was taken with the diptheria yesterday, I hope she will not have it badly, she is very patient, a great contrast to Jim, who will not allow any thing to be done for him except by force, he is very sick and very sullen, he is extremely reduced, looks dreadfully. John is not at all well, he either has a very bad cold or some kind of cough.

Mr. Lawson said today that the hand of God was above this dark war cloud hovering over us, and that it is he and not man who controuls the fury of the tempest, I know it, and I will trust in him, surely he will deliver us and if not, if it be his will to take from us what is dearer than home, friends, or life itself, our country, can I not believe that Our Father doeth all things well. I will try thus to believe, Oh, Lord, help thou mine unbelief!

Tuesday, July 28th / ’63.

This morning the two wagons left for Marshall, one loaded with my piano and the books and the other with railroad things. Mr. Burks, a railroad overseer went with them, Father will follow in a day or two, to find some place of deposit for the things. I had hoped never to have seen them moved again, but all these hopes are now dashed to the ground, the books were never put upon the shelves intended for them. All is so uncertain, where will they be unpacked? If Father carries out his scheme of sending us all over to Germany we shall not have a home soon again, this idea of going to Germany is terrible to me, to be separated from Father and Willie and from Valeria, I am separated from her now, it is true, but not by oceans. Oh, if I could only see her before we leave home, or if I could but hear from her.

Jenny Morancy is very sick, I hope she may be spared to her afflicted Mother.

Thursday night, July 30th.

Poor little Jim died this evening, without pain and almost imperceptibly the spirit passed to Him who gave it, his body lies still and cold in the room where he suffered, and the singing of the watchers now sounds solemnly there, how closely are life and death bound together, death is ever near, the thought fills me with no alarm for myself, but for those so near to me it is dreadful. How much we feel our own littleness when we see the breath dying out of the body, but now so full of life, no man can save his brother, here mortal love and anguish are of no avail.

Aug. 1st. / ’63.

Father left for Marshall this morning, went in a sort of jersey belonging to the railroad, and took Uncle Jim to drive him, we miss Father so much, and he will be gone two weeks. Had a pleasant rain today and this evening Tabitha Scarborough, Willie and I had a delightful ride, went up on the hill near Mrs. Compton’s, the scene from there was beautiful, very beautiful and tranquil in the light of the setting sun.

August, Thursday 6th.

I am alone this evening, all have gone down to Mrs. Barr’s except Eva and John and they are in the garden. I feel very nervous this evening as if something were about to happen, or perhaps it is what has happened that is influencing me. Last night I had a vision, I can call it nothing else, at least it was a dream, beautiful and as vivid as reality. It was about eight o’clock in the evening and we were up stairs in the hall, Miss Mary and I at the east windows, Mother at the west, suddenly Mother called us and we hurried to the window, I gazed in a thrill of awe and wonder at the sight before me, a few degrees above the belt of trees there shone a star, the size and brilliancy of Jupiter, but not him, because he was lower at that time, this beautiful star gradually yet quickly grew as large and round as the full moon, sparkling all over its surface at brilliant points like diamonds, while below it many other stars of the same shape and brilliancy but smaller, formed out of space and took before my astonished eyes the shape of the word “Nebraska” standing out clear and distinct against the dark blue, the letters perfectly formed as in print. I have never seen such a beautiful sight, such a wonderful heavenly vision. I gazed in rapture and in terrour it seemed to me I was beholding unfolded before me the destiny of my country, as I thus gazed the lower stars faded and were lost in the blue, the upper star grew fainter and fainter and at last looked as if shrouded in mist but soon it grew again brilliant, oh so brilliant and as before mysteriously, with a quickness astonishing and yet gradual, the word Massachusetts was formed, the spell of awe and wonder was broken by grief and disappointment as I saw this odious word shining in dazzling brilliancy before me. I sank my head in my hands and groaned and wept in agony and humiliation, it was a terrible agony, but soon a hand was laid upon my shoulder, I sprang up as the word “look” fell upon my ear, and there before me I saw still the brilliant stars but underneath the word “epouvantee” (intimidated) by its glitter seemed to throw the light of the charnel of the hated Massachusetts. I uttered a cry of joy, of relief, I felt a load lifted from my heart, perfect peace was there instead of bitterness, oh the joy of that moment, new forms the stars took, familiar names, but the feeling of this agony and joy has obliterated the others in my mind, but at last the stars sunk and faded, none remained but the upper one, which took again its familiar form. But now a new and wondrous sight prepared itself, in the east arose a sun whose beams of crimson and gold and amber light shot high up the firmament, it was most glorious and only died away to make room for another smaller but not fainter. I drew in my breath for awe and delight, but at last these marvellous visions past away, it was near dawn, the whole yard was crowded with negroes gazing awestruck, but they began to disperse, a well known form drove up, it was that of Mr. Kern my Grandmother’s pastor in Savannah, who has been since three years in “the silent land”. Without speaking I put my arm in his and walking into the house, for I had descended from the hall, I spoke to him of the marvellous sight which he also had witnessed. I was still talking to him when Rose came to wake me; only half aroused I said Rose, did you see the stars last night, she said “no, ma’am” was it a dream, I thought, no, she could not have seen them, and yet it is strange. I said “I cannot get up yet, I have been up all night.” I know not what she thought of my strange words. When I rose I walked to my shelf, took down my french dictionary and there found epouvantee to assure myself that it was a word and that I had not mistaken the signification, it is strange, for the word is very unfamiliar to me and yet I was perfectly correct. Can it be that this is a vision, and this french word, it seems to mean something, we hear that France has recognized the Confederacy and has a fleet in the Mississippi, but I must not trust to these rumours and to confirm a dream. Yet this vision gives me new confidence, it seems to me that God has revealed to me that we will prevail through his mercy helping us, oh that this might be. It was so real to me, even now I can see the glorious dazzling vision of stars and suns, it has been prevent to me all day.

Thursday, Aug. 13th / ’63.

Since I wrote last I have been very busy, and have a great deal to write now though only a week has passed. Tuesday Miss Mary and I had been down to Mrs. Barr’s, Mother had a headache and we returned a little after sunset, what was our surprise on entering her room to find Father sitting there, it was indeed a joyful surprise for we had not expected him before Friday at the earliest, he says he had quite an agreeable journey, he looks improved. I have been feeling very badly for the past week, for three days especially I have scarcely been able to sit up, I have a boil which pains me exceedingly, and have been half lying down all day, last night I had quite a nervous fever. But to my record —

Mrs. Mays came up and spent the day with us Saturday. In the evening Willie and I and Eva took a delightful ride down to Mrs. Barr’s. Tabitha Scarborough was to have gone with us, but Julia Willson came over and was hastily preparing to go to Kentucky to stay with her sister, we rode down there to tell her goodbye, but I have since heard that she was not able to go. When we got down to Mrs. Barr’s we found Mrs. Morancy sick with the diptheria, I was very sorry indeed, it rained while we were there, and we were obliged to accept Mrs. Barr’s kindness and come home in her carriage. Mrs. Barr lent me “Following of Christ” by Thomas � Kempis. I never have read such a book, it is like rain upon a parched and thirsty soil. I never shall cease to thank her for its loan, the pleasure it has given me, the good it has done me I cannot estimate, I could read it always, as yet I am not half through. I have so much to do I do not get much time. I spend a half hour every morning in reading it, another with my bible and in prayer and meditation before the stillness of the morning has gone, and while I can watch the early sunbeams glancing on the tree tops and among the foliage before my window, it is the most blessed hour of the day to me. Monday Mrs. Phillips spent the day with us, there is a repellent influence between us that I cannot overcome. I had almost forgotten to say that Sunday a Soldier came here to get board for a day or two he had been sick and was still very weak. Mother took him, though not as a boarder, it is a thing we have never taken yet, and a soldier has never yet paid us for anything. This man’s name is Lieut. Hargrove, though at first we thought him a private, he is a very good plain man, went into Monroe Tuesday to see the doctor, came back yesterday with a furlough and is going home this evening, he is improved very much in strength. Tuesday night we had a heavy rain, the thunder and lightning were sublime. Yesterday I spent the day at Mrs. Barr’s, went down in the buggy with Father who was on his way to Monroe, had a delightful ride in the cool refreshing morning, everything looked bright after the rain. I spent a very pleasant day though suffering very much from my boil and weakness. Miss Mary and Lory rode down in the afternoon and came home when Father and I did.

I have another hat on hand, one for Mrs. Wynne’s little boy, she asked me at Church one day if I would make one for him and she would pay me any price I asked! I told her if she would send me the palmetto I would him a present of the making, I commenced it Monday and am trying to finish it this week, though I have felt so ill that it is something of an effort. I have my hands full of work now. So many books to read. I finished “The Mill on the Floss,” last week, returned it and Tabitha sent me Bayard Taylor’s “Europe seen with knapsack and staff” and “Dr. Antonio.” The first we are reading aloud, the second I have not yet commenced. Besides these I have Lamartine’s works, and two little stories “Jacques Cour” and “Edouard de Tremont” from Mrs. McGuire. I have not commenced the two latter but have been revelling in the “Voyage in Orient” which I have half finished, I think it is beautiful. I am going to love Lamartine and to wish ardently that I had known him, his thoughts are so elevated, so pure, and there is a sentiment of such deep religion in everything he says, such deep pure sentiment as I had thought very few of the french poet philosophers ever felt, there is nothing more ennobling to men than this. I love poetry, and there is none more beautiful than the prose poetry of Lamartine in which he interprets the Holy land, it is true I could prefer it English, to me there is something far more noble in our stately English tongue than in the lighter, more profuse french. Oh shall I ever see these lands, I know not, and yet something seems to tell me I shall yet stand under the solemn pine grove of Beirut, on the holy Lebanon’s peaks, or more holy, more touching yet, I shall look upon Jerusalem, the holy city. Oh if I could but have the blessed privilege of treading with reverent feet the ground of Gethsemane, of weeping upon the Saviour’s tomb. I cannot read Lamartine’s touching burst of feeling at the holy sepulchre without tears, I feel with him so entirely. I have not time to write more, though on this theme I should never tire, but I must go to work. I must not forget that with me “passion too often mingles with zeal,” this thought is from Thomas a Kempis. I have often felt it, never been able to express it.

I found Mrs. Morancy much better yesterday, Jenny was not well.

Thursday, Aug. 20th.

Just a week since my last entry, a week spent for the greater part in visiting. I consider this a duty as well as everything else, and a duty very difficult to perform well, at least I am too apt either to neglect it altogether, or else to neglect other things in consequence of it, today I have felt disinclined for any of my customary employments, partly from indolence, principally from an ill, weary feeling that oppresses me very much of late. Friday afternoon Mother, Father and I went into Monroe, Mother and I to pay some visits, just as I was putting on my hat the two Miss Grahams and Miss Hannah Bly drove up, they readily excused, we did not feel as if we could relinquish our visit when we were all ready and the carriage at the door, we went to Mrs. Calderwood’s, found no one at home but Miss Laura Barnes who was on a visit there, and had a very pleasant hour or two with her, and some delicious pears and apples. We also went to see Mrs. Jo. McGuire, the first time I had ever met her, a very pleasant lady, but small and very plain. Had a delightful drive home with the rich sunset before us; I never can drive westward without thinking of our future, which seems bound to this western land. Saturday we went up to Mrs. Compton’s, saw the young ladies and Miss Stacy, it seemed pleasant and familiar to me to be there and yet that parlour brought up a quick sharp pang which I so often feel, I thought of one lost forever.

I regretted while we sat in silence waiting for the young ladies, I truly regretted our pleasant familiar intercourse of last winter, now so suspended if not entirely broken. I don’t think I have been in fault, though perhaps I have unconsciously given offence. John Davis came out Saturday to make arrangements for a journey to Miss. He said on his last journey he passed within a quarter of a mile of where Mr. Ridgill used to live, he heard they had moved, I suppose it is true for Miss Valeria told me in her last letter that they would go if Vicksburg fell. Oh unhappy Vicksburg, once our pride, now —

I had just written a long letter a few days before but could not resist writing again to tell Valeria to direct my letters care of Mr. Boulineau, while writing I thought of a plan less foolish, than that of directing to Hazelhurst, it was to enclose my letter under cover to Miss Harrison, Summerfield, Ala. a friend of whom I have often heard Valeria speak, thinking perhaps she might know where they lived. I do long for a letter in that beloved handwriting once more. Oh how I am blessed in this dear friend, though parted from her I think of her as one not absent. John Davis took a chill here Saturday and remained till Monday morning, he will not leave till next week. Monday I finished little Willie Wynne’s hat, and carried it home in the evening, Mother and I went in the buggy, and Miss Mary and Loring accompanied us on horseback. I felt recompensed for my weariness in making the hat by the pleasure it gave the little family. Mrs. Wynne asked me what I charged for it! I answered in an embarrassed way that she was quite welcome, and something more of the sort, and she told me that if there was anything I wanted on that place just to send and get it. Tuesday morning I rode up to Mrs. Barr’s, found her quite sick, poor lady, she seems pining gradually away. I earnestly hope she may not die, though to her worn and tired spirit it would be a relief, but it would be terrible to poor Mrs. Morancy. Tuesday evening Miss Mary and I went down to Mrs. Lidwell’s, Eva was invited to a doll’s wedding at Agnes Willson’s, on our way home we called for her and I stopped and spent a few minutes pleasantly with Tabitha and Mrs. Scarborough while the carriage went to Mrs. Fithiol’s for Mother. Wednesday I spent the day at Mrs. Graham’s, to “make up” for leaving the young ladies the other evening. I spent a much pleasanter day than I had anticipated, there was a Miss Clark, a refugee from the swamp, spending a few days there, I did not see much of her as she had a chill and fever that day. I like Miss Melissa Graham quite well. But oh, we young ladies are all so surface like, so useless; I pray God I may be useful, only usefull, I feel that I can say with Evangeline often, “I have no wish nor desire but to follow meekly with reverent steps the footprints of my Redeemer," and yet how I fail oh so sadly, many are the vain desires that every now and then trouble this prevailing one, and my flesh is so weak, I am always failing. But I must go on; this evening I had expected to visit Miss Creath who returned Monday, but the afternoon has been so dark and we have had such a cold drizzling rain that I could not go out in my organdie dress, my only dress fresh, so I put the visit off for more favourable weather, though I am disappointed. I wanted to finish my visiting this week and have the next quiet and undisturbed. Carrie Young was over here yesterday afternoon. Miss Mat Newcomb and her sister spent a few days with Carrie last week, were coming over here but their sister, Mrs. McClendon was thrown out of a buggy and seriously injured and they had to shorten their visit, we had a beautiful Cactus bloom Tuesday, I sent it over to Miss Mat, but she was gone. I must close this journal, I have a little time before dark, but must devote it to copying some lines Mrs. Morancy lent me a long time ago, and which have been waiting in my desk for a little leisure, they are in manuscript by Mrs. Warfield, authoress of “the household of Bouverie,” and a cousin of Mrs. Morancy’s.

Mary — aged sixteen.

The beautiful is vanished and returns not —


Again the pall is flung
Above the fair and young
Again the mourners of a stricken race
Come forth to mingle tears
O’er blighted hopes of years
That death has frozen in that marble face.

Again the bitter cry
Whose searching agony
So often to the throne of God has sped
Goes up from lips of woe
(As in time long ago)
Of Rachel mourning for her children dead.

How beautiful, how calm!
Palm folded unto palm
As in a happy sleep she lies at rest,
The dark hair braided low
Across her brow of snow
And blossoms heaped upon her virgin breast.

The features fair and fine
Fixed in that smile divine
Which rests like glory on the holy dead
Shall need but little change
To fit them for that strange
And lovely land where now her steps must tread.

Even while on earth she stayed
By glimpses was portrayed
The angel lingering in an earthly guise
Something too sad and deep
For girlhood’s joy would sweep
Across her musing brow sad earnest eyes.

The world was not her sphere
The chain that held her here
Was severed suddenly by love supreme
Thus we who darkly trust
With sorrowing brows in dust,
Must for the comfort of our anguish deem.

If solemn hope and prayer
If constancy and care
Had aught availed against the hand of fate
That beauteous form of clay
Might still have known the day
And walked before us in it’s strength elate.

But He whose perfect ways
Our dim, unsteady gaze
“Darkly as in a glass” beholds with awe,
Hath called His angel back
From earth’s untrodden track
To know the mystery of the living law.

From the fever and the strife,
The weary march of life,
“From the contagion of the world’s slow stain"
From the quick and wild unrest
Joy waking in the breast
And from the wearing hand of age and pain.

Our Father has removed
The being that we loved
Oh sorrowing Parents! to her home sublime,
To know a rest secure
A joy forever pure
A life untroubled by the change of time.

If from your earthly bower
You miss one lovely flower,
Behold! another star has lit the sky;
If by your mortal hearth
You miss one shape of earth
Another angel joins the host on high.
Beechmoor. July 21. Mrs. Elisha Warfield —

Oakland. Aug. 25th. 1863.

About three quarters of an hour ago Willie, Miss Mary and I were sitting in our room, I reading, the others playing checkers, Eva was in bed with a slight fever, Father had retired and Mother was about to do so. At once I heard a man’s step on the hall threshhold, then a quick walk through; the spurs clinking at every step, it was John Davis, come to bring the following note to Father “Col. Wm. M. Wadley; Dr. Sir, News just received at headquarters that a force estimated at 7000 have crossed the Macon, and that the advanced forces are crossing Boeuf river at Pt. Jefferson, 12 miles from Girard, and 24 from Monroe. Duvall saw the courier who said our forces were firing on them. They are travelling rapidly. Send in for the office things I cannot leave. Jos. F. McGuire. ———

The first thing we did was to give Mr. Davis some supper. Father rose and dressed himself to go to Monroe, & Willie old Mr. Burke (the railroad overseer) went out to see about the team. Poor Eva was crying before but felt worse now. So quickly was everything done that they are all off now, Father and Mr. Davis in the buggy, Mr. Burke accompaning the wagon, on a mule. Willie remains with us, he is to sleep in Eva’s room tonight, and has brought down his gun, we have otherwise done nothing except to count up the very little silver we have out. Willie and Miss Mary have resumed their interrupted game, and are playing while I write. We do not expect Father home until nearly morning. I cannot exactly describe my feelings, they are perfectly free from fear, I feel a sort of exhiliration, a firm and healthy pulsation the result of excitement but not agitation, it does not seem possible to me that the Yankees should come here and I should see them, a sight which I have hoped and prayed I might never witness. We took a ride to Mrs. Barr’s this evening, Miss Mary and I; poor woman how she will feel when she hears this, her son and nephew were both absent, the latter at Alexandria, Mr. Barr went to Tensas parish with his wife a few days ago. I do so pity Mrs. Barr. We had a delightful ride home this evening, the clear, cold and brilliant western sky, the bracing air, like that of fall, the delightful motion of our horses, and the green swelling hills on each side, contributed to remove the load of sorrow from my heart awhile; Oh my beloved hills, how much longer shall I dwell among you, Oh my beautiful home! must the Yankees tread here on this soil that I so love? I cannot bear the thought. But I do not fear them, have I not a Father in Heaven, he knows all that is best for me, he will take care of me, only whatever happens may I act as a Christian and a Southern patriot should act.

Wednesday morning, Aug. 26th.

Eva is quite sick this morning, her fever lasted all night, the doctor has just left, did not think it anything serious; Emmeline has the diptheria but not at all badly, I hope she will get over it easily, we could not do without her now. Father returned about twelve o’clock last night, said everything was quiet in town and he heard nothing more; he went in immediately after breakfast, said he would try and be back to dinner, we are expecting to hear something when he arrives; he left this morning in a rather skeptical mood; but the doctor says that the Yankees really are coming, he saw Mr. Oliver, who was coming from town in haste and packing up to leave. We cannot go, our wagons are none of them ready, I say none, one may be but that is not enough to move us. It is as cold, perhaps colder, today than yesterday, a fire is quite comfortable though we have none, it is just like fall weather, so unseasonable that I am afraid it will produce a good deal of sickness. How strange that I can write upon such trifling subjects when maybe the Yankees are so near; but I feel perfectly calm, just as I always do when I think there is something great to happen or happening to me, a stillness, firmness and activity which I so often so generally lack.

Thursday, Aug. 27th.

I do not know where or how to begin, all is movement, anxiety, expectation. We are doubly troubled, Eva is very ill, I am writing in her room by the candle light. Her fever has never yet left her, yesterday evening she had an alarming nervous paroxism and another more violent about 11 o’clock at night, I sat up with her till 2, then Mother took my place, this morning, and all today she has been quite sensible, and has less fever this morning, but there has been a good deal of unavoidable noise which perhaps has had some effect in increasing her fever and nervousness tonight, she complains of excessive weakness, sleeps a great deal but not peacefully, takes all the medicine given her and is scarcely irritable at all. This is all so different from her usual manner when sick. We had a sad parting this evening from Mrs. Barr and her family; they have started for Texas in company with Major Waddell’s family. They stayed with us last night and today until this evening about 5 o’clock; it was like parting with a near and dear relation to tell them goodbye, poor Mrs. Barr! her’s has been a sorrowful lot, and she is so lovely, so ladylike and admirable, Mrs. Morancy too, her youth blighted, I could not but love her. Miss Julia is so useful to her Mother, she directs everything, arranges everything. Dr. Young’s family left today. Oh, if we were only on our way, but it is impossible for us to go now. Father says if it were not for Eva he might attempt to go, but as it is we cannot stir. Willie wants to take away the negroes and stock, I don’t know whether he will or not. Poor Father, he says that for the first time in his life he don’t know what to do, he was in Monroe yesterday all the morning, seeing to the railroad things, and could not sleep last night from his thoughts.

Prince, Emmeline’s husband came to Father last night begging him to buy him, Father has tried once or twice before but could not. Prince said a speculator offered his master 5000 dollars for him but he (Prince) told him flatly that he would not go with him, he was so anxious for Father to buy him, said “One reason I want to get away from Monro is because these black folks that come back say the Yankees takes all the young looking fellows and puts them in the army, and I’ve no notion of going in the army.” Father went in this morning and bought him for four thousand dollars, I expect he will bring him out tonight. Father went away immediately after breakfast and returned to dinner, he went back soon after, and has not come yet, though it is eight o’clock, we are expecting him momently. I feel so tired tonight from my last night’s vigil, I rose at six this morning, and have been standing or walking a great deal during the day, I have not slept at all; Mother is tired and I am afraid fatigue and anxiety will make her sick, since Mrs. Barr’s family left, I feel as if we were alone, many of our acquaintances here will leave, so would we if we could. But it is not our family Father feels himself bound to attend to the railroad employees who all look up to him for advice, and protection as soon as the railroad is stopped they are all liable to the conscription, every one except Father, he tried to get General Smith to release them, he said would gladly do it but could not. Father would have gone to Richmond, thinking his influence might be sufficient, but for this raid or this invasion, whatever it is. Then there are all the railroad papers, money and negroes to be taken care of, besides the machinery, this last the government has taken in hand, an officer arrived this evening after the wagons had been unloaded, with an order that the machinery should go on immediately. Willie felt very badly this order coming in Father’s absence, and he did not know what Father’s wishes would be, but there was no help, the officer was rude in his peremptoriness, and Willie ordered the teams to be gotten ready, the officer went went away but returned a little while before supper, he is still here waiting for Father’s return. Willie and he are both taking a nap now, for Willie expects to be up all night with the wagons. Mr. Burke has been up for several nights and is very much fatigued. I commenced writing before supper but it is now some time since I rose from the table; Eva wakes every few minutes and requires my attention. Father is so late that we think what Mr. McGuire wrote us this evening is quite true, that is, that the Yankees were within five miles of Monroe. Poor Mrs. McGuire is not in state to be removed, oh how I pity all like her now. I hear the gate latch, perhaps it is Father. The clock is just ringing nine in it’s clear, silvery tones, which I love so well.

Friday Aug. 28th.

We have just finished dinner and I have resumed my watch by Eva’s side, she is — as I was about to add — sleeping quietly, she waked, and I have been attending to her for some time, she is now sleeping again. She has been free from fever for four or five hours and has slept nearly all that time but complains of great weakness when she wakes, of course nothing else could be expected when her fever has not left her before since Tuesday night and she has taken little nourishment. Father did not return till ten last night, found the poor officer waiting for him, but all to no purpose for Father had the wagons (which were several miles on their way) turned back, said he could not allow them to go in that way. He confirmed what the doctor said about the near approach of the yankees; the road has been full of soldiers and movers all day, this morning we had a dozen or more here for breakfast and three for dinner besides two sick ones now lying in the parlour, poor fellows, I pity them. Willie has been busy all day loading the wagons and preparing to start with the negroes and stock, we are to keep only the house servants, Alice, Sally, Emmeline and Prince and their children. I suppose Uncle Jim will stay too, and Rose, I forgot her, it seems such a matter of course that she should stay. It is cloudy and by turns rainy, has been so all day, the sun has just come out, how rapidly it is sinking, what may tomorrow bring? We hear that the Yankees entered Monroe last night, our authorities have burned the pontoon bridge over the Ouachita. Willie takes my little pet Mollie with him of course, I could not keep her here in danger though she would be a great solace to me and I shall miss her exceedingly. Willie thinks he will leave this evening, we are to send our “treasures” by him. Oh, how I shall hate to see him leave, my dear, good brother, he is so dear to me. I hardly know anything that is going on, I remain in here alone. Mother is very busy making necessary garments for some of the women, occasionally Father and Willie or some of the others come in, but it disturbs Eva very much to hear the least talking and we try to keep as still as possible, she has had no nervous paroxisms since Wednesday night. We are almost the only family left on the road. The Willson’s and Richardson’s and Goodrich’s are all gone. I am in hopes we may be able to go before many weeks, we shall try to do so. Willie will have pleasant moonlight nights for travelling, I am glad of that. I must write no more now. Goodbye old book. I suppose I ought not to waste paper in journal writing, but it is a great comfort to me, and fortunately we have a good deal of paper, thanks to Father’s kind foresight. I found an old account book of Father’s which I shall use after this. ———

Private Journal.

Saturday, Aug. 29th. 1863. Oakland, La.

About twelve o’clock this morning Mr. McCormick came out from Monroe and told us that the Yankees had gone, they came into Monroe about eleven o’clock yesterday morning and went away about seven this morning, taking with them a number of negroes, mules and some wagons. We had pickets out on the roads leading from Monroe, within a mile of this place, and though anybody was allowed to come out no one could go in, except by taking the bushes, this was the plan Mr. McCormick intended to pursue in returning, and Dr. Whyte was obliged to do the same. We were so glad to hear the welcome news, though we suspect that the retiring of the Yankees may be only a feint to draw our soldiers back and entrap them; but father says he thinks this was only a kind of recconnoissance, and that they will steam up the river this fall after making abundant preparations, I hope we may not be here then. I thought it would be terrible to leave home, but while the Yankees were so near I longed to go, I am so glad I did not see any of them. Father sent Prince for Willie today, to tell him to leave the negroes with Mr. Burke and come back with the carriage. We expect him tonight perhaps, he left about dusk last night, I never felt as I did when he left. Every thing seemed quiet, it was so this morning and is tonight, I felt an aimlessness, it seemed as if we were so solitary like a great wall were around us separating us from the world, the whole neighbourhood seems deserted. Father gave all the negroes choice yesterday evening, told them they might go with Willie to a place of safety or they might bundle up their things and go to the Yankees, to take a free choice, they might have done so in reality, Father would not have hindered them, but they every one chose to go with Willie. Some were not sincere, for Mr. McCormick says that Mr. Duvall is sure he saw one of them, he thinks several, with the Yankees this morning when they left. I was passing through the hall yesterday morning and overheard one of the railroad negroes talking to Father, something was said about going to the Yankees, “No, Mars William,” Abe said, “I come from Georgia and you did too and I calculate to die by you.”

Eva was better this morning, but has not slept any today and is worse this evening, she complains of great prostration, difficulty of breathing and a pain in her side, has very little fever, the doctor came after dinner, prescribed Quinine through the evening and night at short intervals, he said that if she was not better tomorrow she must have more medicine, poor child she has now been sick four days and nights, one side is so sore from the applications of plasters that she cannot lie on it. I have been with her all day until since I have been writing this, it is now so dark I must put up my writing. We have three soldiers for supper and a nights shelter, we can give them no bed but blankets. Mr. Taylor was taken sick this evening, I hope he may soon recover for his sake and ours, I am very anxious to have the wagons fitted up ready to move. ——

Monday, August 31st.

I believe it is decided at last, in two weeks, God willing, we are to start — not to Texas — to Georgia. Two weeks, only two weeks. That we are to go to Georgia takes not from the sting of this bitter parting for me. I have so many things to do in this short time that very little leisure will be left for writing, I am now taking a few minutes before breakfast. Eva was a great deal better yesterday and is this morning. I hope she may now gain a little, not go back and advance alternately as she has been doing. Mrs. Seale and Mrs. Putnam spent the day here yesterday, I saw but little of them as I was with Eva most of the time. Willie returned about eleven o’clock Saturday night, said he had gotten along very well, that the negroes were, as he expressed it, the jolliest set that ever travelled, picking the banjo and dancing every time they stopped, they will be still more jolly at the prospect of going to Georgia. Dr. Whyte told us of an outrage perpetrated by the Yankees on Bayou de Sicard, they went to Mr. Fithiol’s house, demanded some gold that he had, and when he said that it was out of his power to got it, they put five pistols to his head, and commanded him to produce, he still denied, and they put a pistol to his wife’s head, compelled her to get up, in her night dress, light the house all over, unlock all her trunks and show them throughout the house, when they still could not find the money they threatened to burn the house. Mrs. Fithiol drew aside the bed curtains and shoved them her children, “What!” she said, “Would you burn down the house over four little children” “Children are very common things nowadays, we see them every day” was the brutal reply. They did not burn the house however, but took all his negro men but four and left him but four mules out of his twenty four. Notwithstanding this, I must do the Yankees the justice to say that their General (Stevenson) was polite (politic) and that few, if any, other such outrages were committed. It is hard for me to admit that they are polite.

Wednesday, September 2nd. 1863.

Eva is improving, had no fever yesterday or today, we hope she can sit up a little tomorrow. We are all very busy preparing to leave, Father has been blacksmithing for the last two days as Mr. Taylor’s attack proved quite serious, and we are anxious to leave at the earliest possible moment; sometimes I feel as if I cannot wait the prescribed ten days, for what may not happen before then? I am filled with forebodings. This country on this side the Mississippi is almost in a state of anarchy. We are so afraid that Willie may be conscripted before we can get off, he intends to join the army in Virginia as soon as possible but to have him conscripted and in the army here would be dreadful. Mr. Frank Garrett and Capt. Wiltz stayed here last night. Capt. Wiltz says that on Thanksgiving, a few days ago, many of the officers at Shreveport and a great many citizens went to Church, when behold! a guard surrounded the building and arrested every man as he came out! What an outrage to humanity! such we must think, though perpetrated in our own country. They were in search of conscripts. Every one is taken up now, in a few days the conscript officers may come here, Oh it is terrible to think of. Father is going to send Willie off in a day or two on a reconnoitering expedition into the swamp. We will leave at the earliest possible day.

A convention has just been held at Marshall, Texas, of the Governors of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, the judges of the supreme court, the members of Legislature and the Generals — all the generals on this side except Magruder and one other. In this convention they have adopted some very singular resolutions, which virtually amount to the severance of these four states from the Government at Richmond. General Kirby Smith has extraordinary powers bestowed on him, powers equal to those of the President. It is feared that an attempt may be made to establish a new federation over here, if this be so we must get away as soon as possible. Oh it is dreadful, I feel like weeping over my country, what will we become! our enemies are those that are in the midst of us, with the Yankees we can cope. And yet there is a faith in me that bids me look forward to a time when I may be proud of this poor torn and bleeding country, but oh how far distant. I tremble to think of the future.

Friday, Sept. 4th.

Willie left us this morning, I need not say how sad it was. On Father’s return from Monroe yesterday he said it was not safe for Willie to remain longer, the military had returned to Monroe and he might be conscripted at any time, so hasty preparations were made last night and this mornings, and about nine o’clock his horse was packed with blankets, saddlebags, gun and tin cup and Willie dressed in his “soldier shirt” had thrown his coat over the saddle. Mr. Burke’s mule was also packed and nothing remained but to say goodbye. Brandon went off gaily as is his wont. Shall I ever see him or his rider again! Willie and Mr. Burke are going on a reconnoitering expedition as well as to keep themselves out of the way. Father has been obliged to apply for passports to cross the river, and Col. Bartelett dispatched a courier to Gen’l Abair yesterday, it will be several days before we hear whether or not we can go. Father has applied for passports for himself and four railroad employees, including of course Willie, he thinks it probable that we may get passports while they are refused to the young men, if this is the case they will join us in the swamp and go without them. If we are not permitted to go, Willie will go on to Georgia, and from there to Virginia to join the Washington artillery with John and ’Angus.’ Mr. Burke will accompany him to Georgia where his family are. I do so long to be on the road, I gorget my grief at leaving home in the thought of being separated from Willie, and then it is so hard to feel that in truth we have no law.

Eva is improving fast, she took a ride in the carriage this evening, is not yet able to sit up all day however. Mr. Bowmar Barr called here this morning, is searching for his family, left his wife at her father’s in Tensas Parish, says he will be back here in about a week if he overtakes his Mother. If we get permission we shall leave here as soon as possible, we are very busy. I have made two pair of little pantelettes for John today, I never sewed so much in a day before.

George is not at all well, has not been for several days, he had a chill yesterday and another today, Mother to going to give him quinine tomorrow. It is so dark I can not write any more.

Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

Our passport came Sunday, but is only for Father, his family and negroes and any other persons he may wish to take who are not included in the conscription. It makes little difference, as the others can go without a passport. We shall try and leave here a week from today, Willie will join us down in the swamp. George has had four chills, but Mother gave him quinine Sunday and he has had none since, he looks very badly and, we fear, is taking the hooping cough. John has also been a little sick, but has recovered. Col. Stevens died last Thursday.

Thursday, Sept. 10th.

I was at Tabitha Scarborough’s wedding Tuesday night, she married Mr. Shields, poor girl! I fear she has not made a wise choice, the wedding was very small, no guests but Miss Sarah Garrett and myself and a few young gentlemen. I could not help feeling sad, most of the persons present had met at our fish fry at Crew lake, and Mary and Col. Stevens were there in such high spirits; poor Mary! she is so desolate, I went in to Monroe to see her yesterday evening and she called here this morning, she is so changed, her sorrow is bitter but she does not weep, she cannot; only yesterday when I accompanied her to their changed home and she looked at his portrait, she was overcome, and this morning, sitting here in this room, where we had sat so happily, she wept several times, and seemed relieved, my heart bleeds for her. It is as if she had lost two Fathers in one year, for Col. Stevens was a father to her, indeed she will miss him far more than she did her own, she says she felt it sad enough when she was left motherless and fatherless, but never knew desolation before. Mrs. Stevens was very ill before her husband died and cannot walk now. Mary says she knows that her Aunt too will soon leave her. Mary came down with her Uncle’s corpse to the burial at Monroe, she came on Monday. Oh how am I stilled blessed; I tremble lest some of mine should be taken. This trouble and uncertainty wears much upon my dear Father; I wish we were away. We have not heard from Willie yet, but expect news from him this evening. We cannot leave before next Thursday at the least, I am afraid we cannot get off then, there is so much to do to fit up the wagons, and make yokes and chains and so many other things. Mother’s preparations are nearly finished except packing, and as we shall carry only necessaries this must be left till the last few days. I want to see Willie so much, tomorrow will be a week since he left us, a long week it has been. Mother and I are going to call on the bride this evening, Mrs. Shields, how strange it sounds; I feel but little inclined to go, Mary Stevens is in my heart all the time, I feel so much for her that it is almost like a grief of my own.

Saturday, Sept. 12th.

Yesterday morning we were perfectly and delightfully surprised by Willie’s return, he had been to the Mississippi. He saw no Yankees at all, says that transports are continually passing up and down the river, but never land either in Mississippi or Louisiana, he thinks we will be obliged to build a flat and ferry ourselves across in the night. Dear Willie, he is such a help to us and it is such a comfort to have him at home again, how I shall miss him when he goes to the army, but I would not keep him back on any account. We think we shall be able to leave next Saturday, just one week from today, I hope it will not pass as slowly as the past two.

My poor little Molly, my beautiful little pet, has the sweeney, she goes very lame and has lost her old fleetness, her shoulder is beginning to shrink and I am afraid her beauty will soon be gone; Willie’s present, I have always prized her highly and she was such a perfect beauty, so spirited and fleet. Miss Mary and I took a ride yesterday evening, our horses had not been watered and Molly was very thirsty so when we arrived at Mrs. Britt’s I asked them to give her some water. I held a basin for a drink from, but it did not satisfy her, and when we left I enquired the way to the well, it was about a quarter of a mile from the house and the most desolate looking place. There was a single log cabin right in the woods, several benches for tanning leather and washing, some clothes hung on lines stretched from tree to tree and the well, it had a few boards nailed up around it and two pieces of rails crossed at each end, on these the windlass rested, the bucket was a keg sawed off and there was a tub near to pour the water in, we rode up to the cabin and asked the poor, pale woman who came to the door if there was any one there who could draw some water for our horses, she said “no one but me;” of course I disclaimed any wish to have her do it, and rode back to the well. Molly must have water if I had to draw it, so draw it I must. I rode up to a log, dismounted, gave the reins and my cane to Miss Mary, drew off my gloves, threw them on a log and went to the windlass, my dress was terribly in my way and the bucket was very heavy, but I went to work with both hands, furnishing quite a laughable spectacle for Miss Mary, but when I had drawn the bucket, then came the trouble, Railroad would not wait for me to empty it, and I could not get the rope loose and between my anxiety lest I should wet and soil my dress, and my exertions to keep Railroad from drinking from the bucket, I got into a perfect heat, but finally I emptied it into the tub and the plash of the pouring water was scarcely more agreeable to the thirsty horses than it was to me, old Railroad was selfish and impolite enough to drink the whole bucket full from Molly and I was obliged to draw another for my pet, I succeeded a little better than I had the first time, and after letting her fully quench her thirst I drew a long breath, led her to the nearest stump and mounted very quickly. The dear little thing is so ambitious, she tried to go usual, but could not keep up with Railroad’s fast pace. Eva is not very well today, she looks very pale; Thursday night she had an attack of Cholera morbus, which made her lose all that she had previously gained. It is very warm this evening; we hoped to have some rain just after dinner, but it resulted in nothing but a little sprinkle.

Thursday, Sept. 17th.

We have been packing all the week, I have nearly finished my preparations for the journey, my trunk stands packed on one side the table, the valise on the other, the bookshelves and mantelpiece are bare and so is the table, except of baskets, papers and bottles and other things to be used on the way; my desk is almost empty, only my journal book, portfolio, account book and inkstands remaining and a precious bundle of Valeria’s letters which I did not put in the box with my other papers. My dear old desk must be left here, and I may never see it again, this may be the last time I shall write upon it. I value this bureau above all my other possessions. We had hoped to be able to leave on the coming Saturday, but have not been able to get ready, we think now we shall start on Tuesday next. Mother is not well this morning, has one of her severe head aches. Father is very unwell, he has a dreadful cold in the head, but will not lie down. Yesterday we were very much surprised by the arrival of Johnny Stone, I scarcely knew him when he rode up, not that he was changed at all, but his coming was so unexpected, he came down for some sugar that Mrs. Stone left here, said they were all well.

Thursday night.

Mrs. Phillips came down today, came to see about going with us, she wrote a note to Mother the other day, saying that she would like to go as far as Montgomery, Alabama, under Father’s protection, said she had conveyance for herself and baggage, provisions, servant, and all things necessary for the journey; today it appears that she has no conveyance and but little prospect of obtaining one, I am very sorry for her, but my charity does not go far enough for me to wish for her company on the way; it may be wrong, I may judge her unkindly, but I do not, cannot like her society.

Oakland, Sept. 21st. 1863.
Monday night. —

This is the last time I shall ever date my journal from this dear home, I feel as if it were the last, though Father says we may come back, everything is packed, the wagons are drawn out in line and loaded, the furniture carried upstairs and our mattresses laid on the floor for the last night’s sleep; tomorrow (God willing) we leave, we start on our journey, we cannot foresee the end, wisely perhaps, it is hidden from us. Oh my beloved home! everything looked so beautiful in the light of the setting sun, when it next sets we shall be far away.

It is nearly six years since we left our first Oakland, but that was nothing so sad as this, public and private grief both press upon us now; we must take up our cross, we must learn resignation.

Eva is not at all well today, she had fever this morning and looks pale and very thin, George had a chill and fever yesterday and we have all bad colds; not in a very good condition for travelling, but I hope the journey will improve us. Poor Willie has a severe cold and was so much fatigued tonight that he retired before supper. Johnny Stone called this evening to bid us goodbye, he is going back to Texas, we are going to Georgia; I cannot judge which has chosen the best. Mr. Barr was here this evening, I sent a note to Mrs. Morancy by him. Mrs. Phillips did not come down this evening, I suppose she has concluded not to go with us.

Tuesday, Sept. 22nd. 1863.

We have reached our first camping place, we are started. We left home this morning, at nine o’clock, and are about fourteen miles on our way. This has been an eventful day to us, we have had all kinds of adventures. When we left home we came round by Trenton to bid Mrs. Seale goodbye, and Father and Willie and Mr. Duvall went the Natchitoches road with the wagons, at the ferry Father came up with us and the first words he greeted us with were “We have broke down” it was a dreadful sound to us after all our trouble and painstaking to have broken down within three or four miles of home. Father sent us all on while he and the carpenters remained with the broken wagon, we hope he may overtake us tomorrow night, it is very bad for us not to have him with us this first night of our long journey. We rode up to Mr. McGuire’s to bid them goodbye. Old Mr. McGuire shook my hand and said “Farwell Sary, I hope you may have a safe journey.” These goodbyes are sad, the saddest one today was the first. Miss Mary and I rode on ahead to tell Dr. Whyte to send some one down to the house, at Mrs. Willson’s, Tabitha and Agnes came out to tell us goodbye. I felt almost overcome at leaving home and when I met Tabitha could only bow my head in her hand and cry. We stopped at Mrs. Roane’s and then drove down to Major Bry’s, on our way we met Emmeline, who ran from the promiscuous group of wagons, cart and negroes drawn up in the shade near the ferry, and told Mother that an officer had ordered every team not to stir till the Colonel came up. Mother was then in trouble indeed, there was Father way back on the other side the river, Willie was there too, and Mr. Duvall at the other side of the ferry seeing to the ox teams, she hastened on to take Major Bry’s counsel and sent, by his negro boy, a note to Father, telling him of our trouble and begging him not to let Willie come near Monroe, for Mother’s first idea was that they wanted to search the wagons to conscript Willie, in the meantime, poor little George had taken a chill and lay in Major Bry’s arm chair with a fever. After about a half hour of trouble we heard that the Col. had come, and the Maj. walked up to see what was the matter, he soon returned with a very grave face, we all looked eager, he said “No use, you can’t think of leaving here under two weeks, you’ve got to show your passport first.” Now our passport was at Vienna, Father did not wish to get it until Mrs. Duvall’s name was put down, and it was delayed till Col. Bartlett went away. We were all mute in agony but Maj. Bry said “Oh I’ve made a mistake, you can start this evening," how glad we were! Mother immediately dispatched another messenger to Pa and we went to dinner, after dinner Loring came up with a chill, poor child! it has gone off now, but he is very cross, no wonder. We left Major Bry’s at about two o’clock and came on very quietly for four or five miles, through beautiful shady woods, the greater part of the way, though at first there were some long lanes without a tree for shade. Miss Mary and I were walking our horse along quietly, the carriage following after, when all at once Zuleika commenced to kick up in front of us, Mollie kicked and stamped and Railroad plunged and reared violently. I did not know what it was until suddenly I saw and cried out “We are in a hornet’s nest, ride out quick,” I spoke to Mollie and the dear little creature galloped out immediately, though the hornets were on her neck, as soon as I was out of danger I looked around, Miss Mary was running frantically up the road, wringing her hands and crying out to Uncle Jim (who had stopped quite still) “drive out of the hornet’s nest,” and as I hurriedly galloped up, “Oh Sarah, Mollie will kick me, Mollie will kick me.” All the three children were screaming, poor Loring was stung on the ear. As soon as we got a little quieted I found out that Miss Mary had been nearly thrown, that Jeff (a negro man who was with us) had caught him and she had jumped off and a hornet had stung her on the little finger. We soon applied hartshorn, and all got started again. Miss Mary and I rode slowly behind, Jeff walked by the side of us, and we talked of the disaster. Miss Mary said “Oh Jeff, I am so glad you were there” I said “It is well Jeff stayed behind.” Jeff answered, “Yes, Mistis, I am glad I was in that place, I would’nt have that horse hurt you for ten hundred thousand dollars.” But it is getting dark, I have been sitting out here on this log too long, and maybe I can do something at “the camp” which is just screened from me by some bushes. We are camped in what was once an old field, it is covered with close green grass, and there are little bushes grown all around, we have seen a few pines today, I thought we should see none after we left the hills. I like horseback travelling very much thus far, do not feel much tired tonight, it is so much pleasanter than the carriage, poor Mother was very much crowded, Father had the buggy and Loring was obliged to go in the carriage. It is packed full of little things too. Eva looks very well tonight, I think the ride has improved her.

La Fourche bridge, noon. Sept. 23rd. Wednesday.

We are at our second camp, broken down again, two wheels to fill and two tires to shrink, Last night when I went back into camp I found them preparing the beds, it was then that we felt the want of Father, everything was confused, at last by Willie’s strenuous exertions the mattresses were laid down in the wagon, and Mother sent some one to make the bed without going to look at it, we put some boards across from one carriage seat to the other, laid the cushions on them, spread cloaks and blankets down, pinned shawls up at the windows and put Loring and Eva to bed in there, they had an excellent bed but Eva was tired and wanted to be quiet, & Loring was restless and hungry so they “gassed” a good deal. We all gathered round the camp fire, and heard something that made us feel very gloomy and long more earnestly than ever for Father’s presence. Willie commenced by telling us that Fox was lost, and then by degrees we learned that many of the negro men had gotten drunk in Monroe while our wagons were halted there, and among them one Jim Burke, a young negro who was formerly an excellent servant but has been rather troublesome lately; about four miles from Monroe this man was calling out for Mr. Duvall, Willie asked him what he wanted, he returned in an insolent way that he wanted to see him, Willie repeated the question and the same answer was returned. Willie then stepped up to him and said “Can’t you see me, Sir!” he answered flatly that he wouldn’t. Willie then picked up a stick (not knowing he was intoxicated) and knocked him several times, the negro then went away a few minutes and the others say he killed Fox; at any rate Fox has not been seen since. Mr. Duvall gave the man a pass and sent him up to Little creek where his wife is and where we were going to send for her. This occurrence made us feel very badly, we felt sorry that Fox was killed, but this was not so bad for we did not think he could stand the journey, being so old and so long used to quiet; but the act showed us with what an unstable and dangerous an element we had to deal and our minds were full of anxious forebodings. Hunger however soon reminded us of the basket of cold chicken, pork and biscuit & the doughnuts which we had prepared, and Mother and Mr. Duvall found a Cup of hot tea very refreshing, after supper we grew sleepy and went to examine our beds but then came the trouble, with the assistance of several of the servants Mother climbed up into the wagon, but looked down upon us in dismay and at once decided that that sleeping place would not do. It was not large enough for more than one, and Mother said John would certainly tumble out, it was so ludicrous to see Mother perched up in the wagon with hardly room enough to sit upright, a most perplexed expression on her face as she thought of her sleeping apartment. Miss Mary and I climed up at the peril of our lives, and climbed down with difficulty, we all concluded amidst shouts of laughter that the wagon would not do and Mother “Oh if your Father was here he could fix it well.” Poor Willie pulled out the mattresses again, laid carpets down on down on the grass and the mattresses on them, made up the beds, stretched a carpet over it all, and at last Mother, Miss Mary and I crept in, all completely dressed and with George between Miss Mary and I and John between Mother and I, we lay down, weary enough we thought to sleep anywhere, but we soon found our mistake. Willie and Dr. Duvall divided the night into two watches, each of them assisted by some old and trusty negro, the oxen were continually getting loose and the mules fighting and getting away. I could not sleep in my corsets and had to loose them, I waked a thousand times during the night, and would lie for a long time listening to the various strange and some of them funny sounds around the camp, about one o’clock when Willie’s watch had commenced we heard all at once the welcome but most unexpected exclamation “Pa, is that you!” it was sure enough. Oh how glad we were, he soon crept in to our large bed and then we felt secure, the wagon came up about an hour after. This morning I crept out from my bed, fastened up my dress and went to the fire to warm, pretty soon all followed. Father and Willie looked pale and tired and so did Mother but the rest of us did very well. John seems to have fattened since we left home, he cried and struggled when first put into the carriage, but since then I have not heard him cry once. Poor little George looks pale, but I must hasten on. Our toilet this morning was ludicrous, my first care was to secure my basket, get my comb and brush and sit down by the fire to comb my hair, which had not been loosed since the previous morning. I then procured a bason of water, washed my face and hands then rinsed my mouth and felt quite comfortable. We did not got started till late, the ox wagons went first, and started nearly an hour ahead. Miss Mary and I went first of our suite, we had a delightful ride, we soon got into the real swamp, the road was narrow, black and as hard and polished as a pavement. On each side we looked into the beautiful green woods, sparkling with the heavy dew, and the sun just risen above the horizon shone slanting through, lighting up the green, which I thought the freshest and most beautiful I ever beheld. Miss Mary and I were continually calling each other’s attention to some loaning tree or son place where the am shone In long streamers over the brilliant green grass. Mollie and Railroad were both fresh and spirited, Railroad was unusually so, and Miss Mary felt rather timid on him. Mollie’s lameness has entirely disappeared, I thought her a little stiff this morning and had her rubbed with the oil of spike which I brought along in my basket. But we had not ridden thus pleasantly more then two or three miles before we overtook the ox wagons, the hindermost one had stopped and there were Antony, Joe, Uncle Levi and several other negroes gathered round the wheel, consulting and shaking their heads. “What’s the matter” was my first thought, my first word. “My wagon is broke down” said Antony. The carriage was close behind and as it drove up they all seemed relieved. “Call Mass William” all said, poor Mass William (Father) was troubled indeed when he examined the wheel and saw that it needed filling, but he said it might last to La fourche, and sure enough it did. Miss Mary and I rode on, and told Willie to halt the wagons here and here we arrived about ten o’clock, we found an old, almost impassable bridge, but succeeded in getting all the wagons over except Antony’s, they are all camped on this side on the bank of the sluggish, muddy stream, oxen and mules tied, separately, to tress all around and cooking going on around half a dozen different fires, our kitchen is established near the carriage just behind me. The carriage looks so funny behind, there is a cake box with doughnuts and et ceteras tied on behind, wreathed with red peppers and just on the other side is a box with Mother’s Grand duke jessamine, a cutting from my “Valeria" and several heliotrope and cactus cuttings and one little violet, all living finely. I hope they will get to Georgia. I am sitting on a nice log with a tree for my back, which shaded me nicely when I first sat down, but the sun is now creeping round on my book, just opposite, on the other side the bayou is the work shop, established under the shade of a large and beautiful tree. Sandy, Alonzo, Mark, Levi and several assistants are at work, Father is superintending and more often “lending a hand,” Mr. Duvall sitting on a log, his hands clasped over his knees — looking on — Willie has gone with a wagon and hands for corn. At the back of the camp there seems to be great hilarity, for joyous tones mingled with the loud guffaw come to my ears, and a little while ago the merry sound of a fiddle was heard, these are the “poor persecuted African brethren.” This is our Second Camp. Here is “Lazy Pete” with two gar fish in his hands, which he has just caught in a mud hold near by, they look like alligators with the large mouths and feet like fins, and long pointed tail. Pete says “they taste like any other fish" “boil ’em and fry ’em and bake ’em” but I don’t think I should like to taste one. — Evening — We are still in camp, Father says he don’t think we can leave until ten o’clock in the morning. I have just returned from a delightful gallop of several miles; Miss Mary and I had just returned from a ramble in the beautiful woods around, and Willie was about starting off for corn, I asked him where he was going, and he asked me if I wanted to go. I was glad of the opportunity and ordered Mack (my hostler) to get Mollie in a hurry. We had a delightful ride, such beautiful trees! no wonder the swampers love the swamp, but I love my hills.

Thursday morning, Sept. 24th.

I was glad to see the dawning of the light this morning, last night we passed most miserably. In the first place Loring had a chill just at dark, and went to bed with fever, we were all comfortably established in our tent, which was nicely fixed up, and were just going to sleep when we were disturbed by a disagreement between Eva and Lory, he wanted the windows open to get air, and she was certain she would take cold if they were, we pitied them both, (poor Lory was groaning with fever) and at last persuaded him to take a place between Georgie and Miss Mary, at last we got quiet again, the camp was perfectly still, and until between one and two o’clock we did very well, but then our trouble commenced; Father woke up with a severe pain in his back, which he mistook for rheumatism, but he soon found his mistake, it grew worse and worse, and thinking it might be flatulent colic (for it had come round gradually to his stomach) Father took some peppermint, it did not relieve him, and Mother had the fire rekindled, some water warmed, and prepared to use an injection, but found on trial that the syringe was almost useless, some time before we left home, our little mischief (John) had taken it all apart and lost some little pieces; it however gave Father some little relief from the excruciating pain, he then took some oil and afterwards an emetic, he suffered for two or three hours thus terribly and then being relieved went to sleep, it was then not far from dawn and he slept sweetly several hours; I cannot express our agony during that brief time, in which Father could not suppress his groans. I believe he and Mother both thought his life in danger, Mother feared he had inflammation of the bowels. Oh how glad I would have been to have had the advice of even the slow, calm Dr. Whyte. I could do nothing but pray in agony. When Father woke up he felt very much better and went over to direct Sandy and Lonzo about the wheel, which is now (9 o’clock) nearly finished. Father only took a cup of coffee and some buttered biscuit for breakfast and a little while after the pain commenced to return, Mother immediately gave him some peppermint, he threw off some wind from his stomach, and was relieved at once, we think it must have been colic; I know from experience what a terrible pain that is, but I cannot think why it should have commenced in the back; Cuffy, the old negro doctor says it was caused from drinking this water, and I have no doubt it was, added to the great fatigue Father had undergone for two days before. Oh, I hope we will not break down again, Father says we have the wagons too heavily loaded. Mother had John undressed and washed and his night gown put on last night, he was so well, in such a great glee that he would not go to sleep but ran out from the tent constantly, he took a severe cold and we were uneasy about him, last night, this morning he is as full of spirits and mischief as ever. This bayou or lake water to so sickly, it makes me feel sick to look at it, the beautiful, beautiful woods and this black, rich earth are the dwelling place of malaria, the air last night was heavy with dampness, and I seemed to breathe an atmosphere laden with pestilence and death, it is indeed so. The poor man from whom Willie bought corn yesterday has in his family a proof of it, we found him sitting under a tree dressed in the cloth called “Lowells” pants and shirt only which had once been white but were dirty and all raveled and worn round the edges, bare head and feet, one leg of his pants rolled up almost to the knee, he had a most folorn air of dress and posture but his face had something of brightness in it as the setting sun fell on his red hair and thin red beard, two little boys, his children, were near, one Georgie’s size, red haired and freckled face looked tolerably well, the Father said he had not had the fever but one day this year; the other, a few years older, looked badly indeed, his face and poor little bony arms were yellow as saffron and the thick fringe of black hair cut square round his forehead made his complexion look sicker and more sallow still. The Father said his family were never all well at once, he said he supposed we were moving to a healthier country, this was the “onhealthiest” in the world —

Father has just had another paroxysm, is easier now, Willie has fixed the syringe, and they are trying what effect it will have. I am afraid Father’s sickness is a more serious thing than colic, Father thinks of inflammation of the kidneys, it is so strange that it should thus die away and return —

Third camp, Boeuf river,
Friday afternoon, Sept. 25th.

Just as I finished the last sentence of the above entry Father put the tire on the new wheel, and immediately the camp was full of the bustle of yoking and hitching the oxen, harnessing the mules, saddling horses and other arrangements for moving on. The road for a few miles was, I think, through the most beautiful forest I ever beheld, large grand trees, hung with long, waving gray moss and clear of undergrowth, there is one tree I shall never forget, just by the roadside, it is a white Oak whose giant trunk divided a few feet from the roads into two branches each as large as a large tree, it’s majestic branches were hung with moss, it stands out clear in my mind now, the noblest, most majestic tree I ever saw. For a mile the road was a beautiful avenue through this forest, than immediately the character of the scene changed, the large beautiful trees were still there, but around their roots the palmetto grew thick, one who has never seen it can have no conception of the effect, the scene was tropical indeed, from the forest we emerged into an open space covered thick with the glossy dark green fans of palmetto. A few miles further from here we rode up to a house on a low hill (a high one for this region) for some water and coming down through the unshaded barren field road the green wall of the forest looked beautiful in my eyes as it must have done to the most critical, there was no moss on the large live oak trees, whose leaves shone and waved in the light, they grew so thick that there was no space at all between. Willie discovered about two miles from the camp that the wheel of the North Carolina wagon was nearly broken. Father had just set the tire and wedged some of the spokes the day before; we learned that there was a blacksmith shop at Boeuf river and Willie said he thought the wheel would last to that place. Miss Mary and I dropped behind with the carriage and buggy and rode on slowly, we stopped and walked or lay under the trees several times to let the teams get further ahead, oxen go so slowly. Father felt quite badly and had a slight return of the pain. George had a chill soon after we started, when we came to the Boeuf the wheel was taken off and Father prepared to fill it, it was than about three o’clock in the afternoon. The other wagons came down to the ford, a mile from the shop. The ford is very long, not from the width of the river, which is low now, but we have to go some distance through the current to avoid the mud. One wagon ran down in a ditch and delayed the crossing somewhat, the teams did not all got into camp and get corn until after dark, so that the breaking of the wheel was no delay. When I had taken a piece of ham and biscuit and let Mollie rest a few minutes, I took one of the men and went down to see Father, I met Prince between here and the ford who told me that Father had had another attack of pain, and was going to stay there all night. I had already provided myself with the ginger and peppermint and Mother had sent Father a biscuit, and when I heard this I turned back for a blanket. Mother said Father must come home, I rode very fast, and was indeed relieved when I found Father up and in the shop, he consented to come to the camp to spend the night, before he was ready to leave Mother came down in the buggy, she was too anxious about Father to remain here, he came home with her. Loring had taken a chill just as he reached our camping place, and had had a very high fever, but when we returned from the shop his fever had gone down, he was not entirely clear of it through the night. Father suffered much, all night he did not sleep more than half an hour altogether, this morning Mother sent for a physician, he came said the calomel that Father took early this morning by Mr. Duvall’s advice was quite right, prescribed more calomel and a mustard plaster and would return this evening, he has just left, says that Father will be able to travel by twelve o’clock tomorrow provided inflammation did not take place, as yet there is no symptom of it. Loring and George took some calomel and blue mass last night (Mr. Duvall’s prescription also) and Loring has taken quinine today, neither of them has had a chill and are much better this evening. Father was too ill to travel today so we remained in camp with tent (?) pitched. Father has not been sitting up at all, has had only one paroxysm and has slept a good deal. I hope he will be improved in the morning, the Doctor pronounced it a severe fit of constipation. Miss Mary and I took a nice bath and toilet this morning, we rode down to the shop where there are some people living, carrying with us all the requisites for washing and dressing, went up to the house and made the singular request that the lady would give us a room to dress in; how strange a request it was, it did seem so then, but the more I think of it the more singular it seems to me, what would I have thought if any one told me two months ago that I should have done it, I should have laughed outright. But the lady, a very nice polite person, did not seem to think it strange, she gave us her only room, and we felt so pleasant when our toilets were completed that I am very glad I happened to think of this mode of making them; we had not undressed for three days and nights, not since we left home.

A gentleman passed here this evening who had a slight acquaintance with Mr. Duvall, in this wise, he got mired up near Mr. Duvall’s camp on the railroad once when Father was there, and they took him in camp and I suppose helped him out of the mire, his name is Bonjurin, lives at or near Lake St. Joseph, he passed by a little way, and then having recognized Mr. Duvall who was sitting here, rode back, spoke to him, mentioned their former meeting, and asked him to tell Father to bring his family to his house, said he had plenty of house room though no other accommodation and he would assist us in any way he could, said he thought we could cross very well, he thought it would in his opinion take us about three nights to build a flat and cross, said if Father went to Natchez and applied to the Provost Marshall (Yankee) at that place (as Father had been advised to do) that we would either get full permission to cross safe, or else be forbidden entirely, in which case we would be obliged to return home immediately. It is a perilous alternative and hard to decide what to do, it seems to me that if Father is well it would be better to cross ourselves, I hate to have anything to do with the Yankees, but my judgement is weak I know in this case, and whatever Father decides will be best —

I am so indolent and sleepy this evening, I commenced this journal early in the afternoon, and now it is growing dark, we have a very nice pretty camping place, large trees make it shady all day, and the grass grows quite thick over the ground, though just around our tent its getting a little dusty from being so constantly trodden over. If it were earlier and I felt more in a writing mood I would describe the scene before me, but as it is I have not the courage to attempt it. An observer of human nature would find much entertainment in studying this motly assemblage of natural people, some day must note a few most prominent characters, let us wait till we cross the Mississippi, the Rubicon which is to be the trial of their fidelity.

Forth camp, near Bogue Chitto
(big creek) Saturday afternoon,
Sept. 26th.

Glad was I this morning when the doctor came and pronounced Father well enough to move and the order was given to prepare immediately, all was soon ready and when we were once more in line a kind of exhilaration was felt throughout the train. Father did not sleep very well last night end Mother was up with him a great deal, but I knew nothing of it, exhausted by the two previous sleepless nights I slept almost as soon as I lay down and did not wake once, Mother aroused me about midnight to cover George. I was so sleepy, I got up and looked for the little fellow but he was no where to be seen. “My little darling” I said alarmed, “where are you” just then my eyes fell on his head, he had thrown himself quite off the mattress and his feet were outside the tent.

Father has had no return of the pain today, but feels weak; I am not feeling so bright and energetic as I did a few days since. I suppose it is the fatigue and then I think the languor of the past summer is working itself off and must be accompanied by some bad feelings. My face is full of little pimples, and there is a fever blister on my lips, when I had the fever I cannot tell unless it were night before last when I felt quite warm. We came on today ahead of the ox team and when we had come about eleven miles, stopped at a house to get good water to drink, the old gentleman was very kind and polite, complimented Mollie before she had been two minutes in the yard and so won my heart at once though I had been scolding her all the morning for being contrary, it was half past ten when we arrived there, Father thought he would wait for the ox teams so we all went up on the piazza and sat down, the old gentleman was very kind, talked very pleasantly and told us that one of his neighbours, a Mr. Grayson, brother of Mrs. Fleming Noble, had recently been to Natchez, that the Yankees received him very well and that he thinks they would cross. Father continues so unwell and our wagons are so very heavily loaded that I believe Father has concluded to leave the lumber here, and go to Natchez to try and get permission to cross, he will go first himself, leaving us at some convenient point away from the river. We remained at this old gentlemen’s house, his name is Cole, until past two o’clock, Father took a little nap on the piazza with his head on my saddle, he refused a pillow; then Willie came up and Father’s first question was, “which wagon has broken down.” I expect he had been dreaming about it he was so anxious. Willie said none had broken down, but a bolt in his wagon had broken and they had replaced it by a new one which he had along. When Willie came we immediately made ready and started after watering our mules and horses, we came on to our camp here, it is a very pretty nice camping place, a level ground shaded by a perfect grove of large trees most of them oaks. I am seated on the root of one of these large trees, on my right hand is the carriage, a little behind and further off Mollie and Railroad are tied, on my left the Carolina wagon and ambulance are drawn up with some mules eating from a trough and beyond on every side the ox wagons are drawn up in a semi-circle, with the oxen tied and comfortably eating. Poor Mollie and her companion are the only ones unfed, and here comes Uncle Jim with a tub of corn for them, I know how welcome it is, hear her low, glad neigh, and now the crunching of the corn. I am just as hungry as I can be, have not eaten a morsel since breakfast and begin to grow faint. Alice is hastening to prepare our supper. Oh here is Mack, bending under a load of fodder for our horses. I was just thinking of a lecture for him about not bringing the corn himself, but I judged him harshly, he is a good simple fellow, comes from the Georgia low country and talks that strange dialect, he is just like a child, actually plays with dolls, always has a grin on his face when we look or smile at him, he knows but little about horses but is trying to learn and is really improved. In front of my seat is quite a tableau vivant, there is the provision chest which serves us for a table, and around it are gathered continually shifting figures. Mother is permanent, she sits in her rocking chair, the same one she had at home, giving orders and receiving reports, Eva now occupies the other rocking chair, and Loring one of our old “country” chairs, George and John are standing near with some potatoes, and Father not far off directing about the tent. There is Willie with a bottle of wine in his hand, he has been up to the house yonder to get Milk, and food for the horses, and found out they had home made grape wine for two dollars a bottle. Mother has tasted it and found it good, “pure grape juice” she says, “we have found a treasure, had better get a dozen bottles,” but now she says, “Oh I was just in fun,” but I have just tasted it and think it very good, though it leaves a taste like persimmons in my mouth, and Mr. Duvall who has just come up says “Oh yes, it is very good!” Mr. Duvall always finds everything quite good.

I believe I am too hungry to write any more. I am so glad that neither Lory nor George have had a chill today, Mother gave them some quinine this morning. Loring is quite well, with the exception of fever blisters, but George still looks very badly though I think he is improving. —

Fifth camp, Bayou Maçon
Sunday evening, Sept. 27th.

Sunday evening it really is, and now it seems so, as I sit down quietly in the hollows made by the roots of this gigantic tree, looking sometimes into its boughs hung with grey moss, spread out above me, sometimes down the sloping bank where the level evening light shades through other venerable gray bearded trees to the calm, clear river, green with the reflection of the thick trees and vines of the opposite bank; but this morning when we were starting and after we started I shame to say I actually forgot it, it was indeed so unlike our quiet Oakland Sabbaths, how differently our last Sunday was spent. I never rode horseback on Sunday before in my life and seldom in the carriage, when I did it was only to Church. But today we have made the longest journey we have since we started, we have come sixteen miles at the least, probably more, I really feel tired. We left camp as early as possible this morning and traveled without stopping for water or anything else until we reached Winsboro, quite a pretty little settlement with four or five white houses, a rickety looking place with the large sign “Phoenix House” swinging on a post in front, a “New Dry Goods Store” and a “Drug Store” and in the center of a small grassy common a large brick house with two stories and several chimneys, which I suppose serves the double purpose of Court house and Church as Mr. Duvall said he heard singing there as he passed. We stopped under some large trees just this side of the town, and rested there until the teams came up, which was, I think, about two hours. Here I had time to read part of the morning service including the lessons, I enjoyed it very much indeed. When the teams came up we had some cold chicken and ham and biscuit, which were, very welcome to us hungry beings, about one o’clock we started on, and with the exception of once stopping for water, we rode steadily and quite fast to this place, Osborne’s ferry on the Ma�on, I was glad indeed when we reached here, and so was Mollie, poor little thing, she was so thirsty, the water at Turtle creek where we stopped at dinner was so muddy that dainty Lord Railroad would not drink it at all. It seems as if we cannot travel a single day without something breaking, nothing is actually broken today, that we know of, but at dinner time there was one tire so nearly off that Father doubted whether it would come here, it will have to be set before we go further. At the house where we stopped for water this afternoon we overtook a gentleman travelling to his home near here somewhere. Father asked him as usual about crossing the river, he said he did not know much about it but referred him to Mr. Murdock a “nice, correct gentleman” who lived at St. Joseph’s town, and could tell us all about it. Now this Mr. Murdock is the same who went by our camp at Boeuf river with Mr. Bonjurin, and told Mr. Duvall that if he could do anything to assist us we must call upon him, so now we feel quite a right to do so having been recommended, and then invited by himself. How quiet is this still evening hour on the banks of the gently lapping stream, it is refreshing to me, travel worn and weary of dust and noise; the ox teams have not yet come, and the mule wagons are up on the top of the bank and make no noise to disturb us. We passed some pines today, how beautiful and familiar they looked, there were several groups of them in one or two places, but there were no hills, everything flat, the soil looked poor, and as our road lay through the woods principally we had no means of judging of its productiveness. After leaving Winsboro the country was quite pretty though still perfectly level. We passed several nice looking houses, and the woods were very pretty, already tinged with autumn hues.

Bayou Tensas. Sept. 30th.
Wednesday morning.

Two days have passed by without my having recorded their events here, but I think I shall have time this morning to give a full account. We left Bayou Ma�on about noon time Monday, having spent the morning in mending and setting the broken tire and fixing up another, and in ferrying across the Bayou, which last was of itself quite an undertaking, a few hundred yards from the Bayou we came into the swamp, as Father informed us, the great Mississippi swamp at last, from the Macon to the Tensas we came through it. I never saw anything like it before, I could have told at once that it was the swamp, instead of gigantic trees, clear of undergrowth, that we saw in the La Fourche, the growth was thick and matted with vines, everything was green except the trunks of the trees, which in some places were covered with vines but were generally marked with fine black moss defining clearly the height of the overflow, everything was rank luxuriance and looked more so under the damp murky clouds which hid the sky from our view, and the soil, such soil, black, perfectly black and in the deep ruts the mud was black till it was steell like, and stiff as it could be, the road was narrow and very bad, one deep mud hole after another, and large roots running entirely across the road. In one place we came very near having a serious accident, we were all very close together, the buggy in front, then the carriage and Miss Mary and I on horseback, and close behind us the jersey with some of the negro women and Uncle Prince driving; a loose branch lying in the road caught in Loring’s buggy wheel and this brought the whole cavalcade to a halt, for the road was too narrow to admit of one vehicle passing another, there was some trouble about getting the branch out and Uncle Prince’s mules, one of which was very spirited and could not bear to be behind, grew restive and he could not hold it, they dashed up and just escaped running on the carriage wheel. Father saved it by catching them in front and could hardly restrain them, he took up a large stick and belaboured the wild one in the face before he could reduce it to any order, as soon as he loosed it, it dashed away, and we all got into a terrible entanglement. Miss Mary and I in front were making strenuous endeavours to get in the woods, for the buggy was just ahead, and Uncle Jim called out “get out of my way,” while Father and Uncle Prince were making frantic efforts to hold their mules behind, and in the midst of all this, two men rode up into the melee, making it worse. At last however the ambulance drove in front, and we all followed quietly enough. Uncle Jim displayed his skill in driving, indeed the carriage would have certainly been broken but for his care and dexterity in going slowly over the roots and avoiding the mud holes and deep ruts whenever it was possible, we came to one very bad place, it was a deep hollow where in wet weather there is a torrent I suppose, the hill looked almost perpendicular and Uncle Jim locked his wheel to drive down there. Father asked Uncle Jim did he think he could drive down there? Uncle Jim, leaning back on his seat, answered composedly and confidently “Yes Sir,” he was the personification of self complacency, no emperor on his throne could have been more dignifiedly self important than this old black man with his grizzled hair and beard, his sleves rolled up and the reins in his hand, sitting firmly in his natural place and confident in his superiority as a carriage driver, he verified his promise, drove the carriage down safely (Mother and John got out) though it was a terrible strain on the mules and harness, as was the pull up on the other side. Not far on we met with another hollow something like this one At one place we caught a glimpse of a lake through the forest, I rode in where I could see it better and never shall forget the scene, a stillness as of death reigned over the green water, covered for a large space near the land with the leaves of the water lily, the cypress trees hanging over the water were draped with grey moss. silent and still, waved by no breath of passing breeze. The low muddy shore prevented my approaching nearer and it looked to me like a glimpse of another world, a world of perfect silence, deathlike stillness entirely different from the character of luxuriant life which was only a few paces distant. About four o’clock in the evening we saw through the woods a winding stream and caught Father’s remark to Mother “this is the Tensas.” A little further and we saw the ferry and landing place opposite, at first we thought of camping on the other side, because we thought we would not have time to ferry over the ox teams before night, but it looked so much like rain, and Mother was so much afraid that Father would take cold that she thought it would be better to come over to this house just on the opposite bank, where no one lives but the overseer and where we could get shelter and room to change our clothes, soiled by so long a travel in the dust on the other side the Ma�on. The flat was very small and we were obliged to unharness the mules from the carriages and waggons and ferry them over separately. Two soldiers and their horses and Mollie and Railroad went over first. Zulieka (Mollie’s colt) would not stay in the flat, but when she saw it receding with her Mother, she was frantic to follow, and plunged into the water. I involuntarily cried out with afright when I saw her go down and commence to swim, and as she several times plunged wildly I cried “oh she is drowning, she will be killed” but she was soon safe across the narrow stream, and as she emerged from the water my fear was turned to laughter she did look so ridiculous all wet, and her tail hanging straight down behind, the water dripping at every movement. Georgie showed no anxiety about his “Feluco” but said he knew she would not drown. Poor little fellow, his only care was to get something to eat, we had none of us had anything since breakfast and George was almost famished, as we were coming over the ferry he said pitifully “Thither Mary, ain’t you got a little piece of bread and meat.”

After walking up the steep bank on this side Miss Mary and I sat down on the roots of a large tree to see the carriage come over, it was quite a picturesque scene before us, there was the narrow stream, the opposite banks covered with thick trees and vines down to the water’s edge except at the landing place where the road wound up the high steep bank, on the open place near the ferry the carriage and jersey stood, and a number of negro women, further up at the turn of the road where it was over arched with trees we saw the North Carolina wagon with it’s team of mules, it’s high green body and cloth cover, while the flat was in the middle of the stream with it’s load of people coming over. We were soon forced by fatigue and hunger to come in the house and after eating some corn bread and ham I took my book and pencil and thought I would write some, but felt too tired, and after washing our little plants, went into the room to change my dress. The ox teams were not long in coming up, and from them we learned the unwelcome intelligence that one wheel was broken. The driver had run up against a tree in a very narrow part of the road and broken every spoke. The damp murky evening soon darkened into night and with the first darkness the long threatened rain came down, Father came into the house while the others attended to the crossing of the teams, all of them were ferried over that night except three, including the broken one. It was a gloomy night, everything was confusion and wet, the black earth, moistened by the rain become sticky mud which it is almost impossible to scrape or stamp off the shoes, after poor Willie had got some supper and Mr. Duvall had taken his in our one room, which was at once bed, sitting and eating room, Miss Mary and I crept into bed with Georgie, and overcome with fatigue soon fell asleep, but I did not sleep long before I was awakened by a dull pain in my side which increased to agony, it gave me not a minutes rest for two hours, I suppose, when it lulled and I dozed a little while, then it came on worse than before and I threw up the supper I had eaten, this waked Father and then Mother, they did everything they could think of, I took peppermint, laudanum, and number six, all without any effect on the terrible pain, the worst I have ever known. At last some hot water was procured to bathe my feet, and the pain lulled for a few hours, leaving a dreadful soreness and I was in constant terror lest it should come back, it did come back about dawn, and for several hours gave me no rest. Mother was alarmed and sent for the doctor living near here, but by the time he came her remedies had procured relief and I was entirely free from pain. He pronounced it an attack of colic, said it was probably over but advised some laxative pills and sage tea, which last I secretly determined I would not take. I tried to take the pills in preserves and then in water but could not and chewed them up at last as poor little Georgie did. I was exhausted by my sleepless night of pain and slept or dozed throughout the dull rainy day without any return of the pain. I am up this morning but feel weak and giddy, ever since breakfast I have been writing, stopping frequently to lean back and rest and smell the bay water by my side, it is so refreshing. Mrs. Morancy gave me a great present when she sent me that little bottle full. I am sitting out here on the back piazza with a wet, cloud wrapped view all around on my left. Sally is washing by the cistern, the only person near, beyond is the garden and a field from the midst of which rises the tall white-washed monument like chimney of the plantation gin and mills which used to surround it, now they are burned down, leaving only the chimney and a wreck of brick work and machinery to show where they stood, beyond the field is girded by the green wall of woods, where I can distinguish light green willows and the taller trees of oak and other woods, for the space between us is quite narrow, but in front there is a wide field, where once luxurious crops of cotton whitened the soil which now produces a rank crop of high weeds. The horizon is bounded by the woods which look distant and dusky through the misty rain falling between us, overhead the clouds drift ceaselessly, as one grey bank drifts away another follows, showing no sign of clearing off, the house and old rickety buildings around all look muddy and wet, there is not a single bright feature in the scene.

This house has quite a nice appearance from the outside, with it’s white front and green blinds, but within it is entirely unfinished, unceiled, and unpainted and has a damp, sour smell, but we are thankful indeed for the shelter it affords, we should have been in sorrowful plight camped in the mud on the other side the bayou. Eva had had a chill since breakfast, and is now in bed with the fever. Mr. Woods, the overseer here, says we are only twenty-three miles from the Mississippi, would we were safe across, out of this swamp, which generates chill and fever, just as naturally as it produces rich woods and abundant cotton crops, and — mud! We hope to leave here tomorrow, the wheel will be finished today, it was almost done last night. We shall then go about ten miles I suppose where there is fine plantation with shelter for our stock, where we expect to remain until Father goes forward and reconnoitres the ground.

I had almost forgot to say that Mr. Burke and Mr. O’Leary joined us Monday morning at the Ma�on we were very glad to see them coming, as they will be a great help in attending to the wagons and watching at night.

Bayou Tensas still.
Thursday morning Oct. 1st.

In my same post on the back piazza, but how changed the scene, the willows and tall forest trees are brilliantly green, the field of weeds waves and glistens in the clear wind and bright light, and the belt of woods beyond is no longer dim though the bright haze of distance is between us, it is a luxury to gaze on the sky, no longer dim and changeless with the drifting grey clouds but full of life and beauty and movement, clusters and groups of white fleecy clouds variable as the shadows float between us, and the deep bright blue of the sky, such beautiful clouds, now shading a while the glorious sun, now letting a full flood of light on wood and fields, the mud is still here, for the sun only came out this morning, but with all this beauty and cheer overhead and this gentle but spiriting wind we are apt to tolerate more easily the muck and mire below. What spectacle can equal that of the sky, ever varying, ever full of meaning whether dark or bright there is always interest there. Well may Humbolt say that clouds give as much character to a landscape as terrestrial objects, they give more, the earth is the body, the firmament is the life, the soul. Our poor little plants are out in the sun today, the little heliotropes are wilting under his strong beams, but they will revive by and by.

Father went away this morning to the river to find out a way for us to cross, he may come back tomorrow night but I hardly hope to see him till Sunday, he says when he returns we shall be decided one way or another. Eva took quinine this morning and I hope will miss her chill. Georgie looks a little pale, I hope he will not be sick

Montgomery’s plantation,
Choctaw Bayou.
Friday, Oct. 2nd. 1863.

Yesterday the mud dried so much and this morning the sun rose so clear and bright that we prepared cheerfully for the days journey, it is a bright pleasant day with a cloudless sky above, but we soon found that the mud was still bad enough to render travelling very unpleasnat. Father rode Railroad away so Miss Mary was obliged to go in the buggy and I rode on alone for some distance until Willie came up from the wagons. Our road lay through open fields the greater part of the way, field after field, sometimes a mile across, where the woods which bounded them looked almost blue from distance, fields covered with corn and often luxuriant peavines, grown without other care than simply planting, the plantations are separated only by rail fences, not belts of woodland as at home, we only passed through one or two miles of woodland in our journey of twelve miles, and really it was not very pleasant, our horses labouring through the muddy roads and the sun beaming hot upon our unsheltered heads. Mollie did not like it at all, she is a little lame again too. I hated to have her tread in the mud so, but could not help it. We came along quite steadily, only stopping for water once or twice for water, during the whole time, and arrived here about two or three o’clock, this gentleman has three plantations, and only one overseer, when we rode up to this place and asked if them was a white man here, they told us no, he was at the “lower place” about a mile distant, so we wearily caught up our reins and rode on, when we get there and saw the overseer he said he would sell us corn at a dollar and a half a bushel (when he cannot begin to gather what he has) he asked us if this was Mr. Watling’s train and we answered yes, then followed several remarks and he at last advised us to come back here to the first place as there was a very good vacant house and water for men and stock, so we crossed the long bridge which I dread, I never could bear to cross a bridge on horseback, and we were soon established in this clean little house which has several white plastered rooms, a piazza in front, and a little porch behind, the little inclosed lot is covered with bermuda grass in front, separated by a fence is the negro quarter, the ground is covered with bermuda grass and there is a wide street with the neat, white washed cabins on each side, each house has two rooms with a nice brick chimney, and an open roof in front, paved underneath with brick to keep them out of the mud, there is no dwelling house on this place, the negros call this “the doctor’s house" I suppose the physician on the place used to live here, it is quite a comfortable little place and I suppose some ladies stayed here, for there is a discarded hoop skirt hanging in one of the rooms. We are to stay here until Father returns, he may come tonight, but we can hardly hope to see him until Sunday. Mr. Duvall says we got on wonderfully well today, only broke a yoke, that was easily repaired, for we have extra new ones with us. I believe we have no really sick ones today, though Eva is pale and Georgie looks badly, Eva missed her chill yesterday and today and I hope will not have any more.

Choctaw Bayou,
Saturday evening.
Oct. 3rd.

I have just returned from a pleasant walk down to the bayou where it widens into a lake, and an hours pleasant idleness sitting an the trunk of a large cypress tree lying out in the water, with the solemn, moss hung cypress branches over our heads, and looking at the grave white cranes sitting motionless on the bank or flapping slowly from one side to the other, now and then one would wade out into the stream, stretch his long neck out and stand motionless, watching the water, we amused ourselves very much observing all their motions, at first we counted all we saw, but soon found too many to count, there were two or three of what are called blue cranes but we were not as much interested in these as in the snowy white ones. We were quite excited when George pointed out an alligator lying on some limbs projecting from the water, not far from our standpoint, we tried chunking at him with bark (he was a little fellow) but he paid no attention to that and Eva and I went back to the stump of the tree to get some chips but before we were half way on our return Miss Mary cried out, he is gone. The shore of the bayou near where we sat was grown up in places with cypress knees of a thousand grotesque shapes, some groups of them if inverted would have looked just like great brown icicles. The growth of the cypress tree is so singular and what is strange in this day of popular information, I have never seen any notice of it in books of travel. This growth may not be an isolated one in botany, but I never heard of any like it. These knees, as they are called, are the germs of the future tree, they grow up like stumps, covered with bark and rounded on the top, from which fact they take their name of knees, not a bud or sign of a leaf is seen anywhere about them. I have never seen any in the transition state, but Mr. Duvall says they grow thus quite tall, sometimes higher than a man, and than all at once put out branches, I should like very much to see some of them budding; I think the cypress is a beautiful tree, this grey moss sems more appropriate to them than to any other, the trees on this lake are principally cypress, draped always with moss. Miss Mary and Loring are hurrying me, they want to go down to the lake and take a boat ride, so I suppose I must leave my book though I am very unwilling.

Monday Oct. 5th. Tensas Bayou.

It is our task now to retrace our steps. The idea of going to Georgia and all the anticipations — doubtful, pleasurable & painful which it engendered are left behind us, we must do our best to forget them. I said forget, but I did not mean, no we must never forget this journey, its bodily and mental trials and its joys, for joys it has had for me. The experience, the disappointment is useful; I hope, I trust it may not be long before we can say from our hearts “the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.”

The bud has indeed a “bitter taste” we will not deny that, it is best to admit it, to receive the bitterness and profit by it. Yesterday evening Father returned from the expedition to the river, and be brought the unwelcome intelligence that we had been refused a passport, but I will repeat something of what Father told us, after a full account of his journey to Rodney, he said that when he arrived there he beckoned to the ferry boat, which was a flat owned by two negro men; the Gun boat lay in the middle of the river, and he wanted the men to take him out to it, they said all the skiffs had just been destroyed by the gunboat, and when he asked if they could not take him out in that, they demurred and confered apart some time. Father perceived at length that they were troubled about the price, he asked them what they charged to ferry any one across, they said ten dollars over and ten back (Father afterwards learned that the regular price was five dollars), he asked them if they would not take him out to the Gun boat for that price and they willingly acquiesced, when Father got out to the boat, the Lieutenant received him and told him he could not come on board, asked his business, Father told him he desired to see the Commander of the boat, the Lieutenant was in command, for the Captain with a squad of his men had recently been captured in a church at Rodney. Father told the Lieutenant that he came to ask permission to cross the river with his family; be enquired if Father was in the army? “No.” “You think you ought not to be there, I suppose?” “No, on the contrary I think if I were of the proper age and had no impediment I ought to be there.” “Well, sir” was his final answer “you cannot cross here.” Father bade him good morning, and went on to Natchez, when he arrived there he immediately went to the Gen’ls office, when he told his business to the usher he was told that he must go to the Provost Marshall, he went there and was told he could not then be attended to, must return at two o’clock, at two o’clock he returned, and after waiting about an hour the Provost came. Father then prefaced his story by telling him that he was the President of the V’bg, Shreveport and Texas railroad, intending to tell him about the negroes, but here the Provost stopped him by telling him that he knew that; he then asked Father if he considered himself a loyal citizen, Father said “Yes, a loyal citizen of the Confederate States.” “I suspected as much, and you come here asking me to assist you in crossing the river.” “No,” Father said, “I come here asking permission to go across without being molested, I ask no assistance.” “You cannot have that permission, if you cross the river you cross at your peril.” Father asked him if it would be of any use for him to go to the General, he told him no, that he had just come from the General’s office, where he had been conferring with him on this very subject, and the General said be must use his own discretion. Father then said to him, “As a mere matter of curiosity I would like to know how you received your information about me,” the reply was “Your curiosity cannot be gratified, Sir.” Thus in a few words were crushed all our hopes of getting Yankee permission, it cost them little to speak these words, but how much it cost us to hear them. But even in hearing I felt a sort of exultation in thinking that now we owed them nothing, not even a word of kindness, yes they have refused us the only favour we have yet asked them, we are not oppressed by any sense of obligation to them. Father says while he was in Natchez he saw Old grey haired men and women come to the Provost to ask permission to buy some common necessary of life. The people living in the city have to bring to the Provost a written memoranda of what they want to by, however insignificant the article, and then when they have bought it, they have to bring a bill of it back to the same officer. Father says the city is orderly, no doubt, with such a rule. After telling us all this, Father said the decision was still to make, we could go on, and endeavour to cross the river if we chose, or we could go back home, the two ways were before us, he could not decide, he did not know which was best, and he thought Mother ought to make the decision; we might possibly get across the river but it was almost certain that we would be discovered, and if we were he felt sure from what he had seen and learned that the Yankees would deprive of everything, literally everything we possessed, and leave us on the bank of the river thus destitute; on the other hand, if we went back we knew what we went to, it was present safety at least, though undoubtedly privation. Willie was in favour of making the attempt, but Father and Mr. Duvall and Mr. Burke all thought the risk too great, and Mother was appalled at the prospect of utter destitution if we were discovered, so at length it was decided that we were to turn back, and Father called up the negroes to tell them the decision; they were all attentive while he told them, and while he added that he had seen in those few days all kinds of suffering that he ever expected to see, he had seen the graves of negroes as thick as the heads before him, he had seen acres of the most miserable little huts opposite Natchez where the negroes were staying, and negro women up to their knees in water paddling out clothes, for want of tubs, he had passed one plantation where there were a hundred negroes with no overseer and they had not a morsel of salt and but little meat; all the able bodied negro men were put in the army, the others were left to shift for themselves. Father told them that he thought he should be able to feed and clothe them for another year here, but that if he were to be discovered in the attempt to cross the river he should be “as powerless as Nancy’s baby there.” The negroes assented, Mark said he was willing to go back and save what little was left, and so they all said. It is a sad disappointment to Lonzo and Uncle Levi, they were so anxious to go back to Georgia and so were a few others. Father promised them that they should go there as soon so possible. So it was all said, and he went in the house and thought of the past day and of the morrow, and my poor Father looked so troubled and perplexed and so kind and good. In my childhood I used to think that my Father could never fail in anything, he has failed in this attempt to cross the Mississippi, but in this very failure I love him and respect him more, and he is nobler in my eyes than any man in his success, then even he in his success, if it could be that I could love him, respect him more. Such truth and strength and humility I can never see united in any other. My father! this is full for me of happiness and goodness. I am more sorry on Willie’s account than any other, I was so in hopes he could be with John & Angus, but it may be best for him to be here. Father speaks of trying to get him into Harrison’s battalion of cavalry, Willie said he did not want to go over the other side unless we went too. We left the Montgomery place this morning quite early, and came over the field to the Tensas by twelve o’clock, of course the ox teams did not get here till later, it is now nearly three o’clock and they are not all crossed yet; we have established our camp on the east side of the Tensas just above the ferry —

Third return camp, Bogue Chitto. Thursday, Oct. 8th.

I have let two days pass without an entry in this journal, which ought to be faithfully and punctually kept, I have neglected it, for no other reason than just because I did not feel like writing, a poor reason indeed. — We left our camp at the Tensas as early as possible in the morning of Wednesday, the ox wagons preceded us, for we remembered the rough road, made worse by the recent rain, and hoped that the heavy wagons would smooth the stiff ruts a little. Notwithstanding they did smooth it very much, they made some of the holes worse, and the ten miles drive was very wearying, however, we reached the Ma�on and forded it by twelve o’clock, which we thought was very good driving. After resting an hour, in which we lunched, & fed the horses and cattle, we again took up our march, having set Winsboro for our night’s camping place. It is twelve miles distant from the Ma�on, and a long and weary twelve miles it was to me, Mollie was so lame that traveling was painful to herself and her rider, and I could not chase away by a short galop, as is my wont, the painful thoughts that lengthened the miles to me. When we came into the beautiful woods, I recalled the reflections of my Sabbath ride through them, and they again brought peace and resignation to my soul. Gladly we hailed the sight of the open common and the spreading oak under which we rested on Sunday. It was late before our supper was over and we were ready to lie down to sleep until morning. So we thought, but not so it proved, for about one o’clock we were aroused by Mr. Burke’s calls to his “staff,” (it was his watch) and by the running to and fro to get the women & children and bedding under shelter. We rubbed open our sleepy eyes, put on our frocks and got the children up, fretting at being awakened. Miss Mary and Willie went on, Miss Mary with a lantern, and Willie with John in his arms; they went to a little house with two rooms which was fortunately on the edge of the common. Hither we all fled except Father, he stayed at the tent to attend to things there. When arrived at the cabin we got into the room where there was a fireplace and found the small fire kindled and several negroes gathered around it, they made room for us and we gathered around, Mother in a chair, the rest on the floor, some lying and some sitting. After the rain lulled a little we sent down a negro man who brought up two blankets, a large shawl and two pillows, the children stretched themselves on and under these and I lay beside George for awhile, but soon gave my place to Mother for I preferred her chair; from my seat I amused myself (between naps) with the scene around; stretched with their feet on the fireplace and their forms making the radii of a half circle around it, were the white family all seeming sound asleep, ranged around the sides of the room were the negroes, in various grotesque positions, some sitting propped up against the wall, some wrapped in quilts and blankets, giving no indication that it was other than a pile of bed-clothing except by the loud snore that came from its depths, others were lying without blanket or quilt, and Jeff having quietly taken off his coat and laid it under Willie’s head (W. was so sound asleep he did not know it) had seated himself on the edge of one of the boards, which formed part of the wall of this dilapidated house, & was sleeping as quietly as if on a bed of down. Through the unshuttered door I saw the floor covered with sleeping negroes lying close together, covered scantily or not at all, but most of them better provided for than we, opposite me by the corner of the fireplace Lonzo was seated on the floor, a basket which he seemed to consider very valuable, by his side, and his arms embracing his knees, which formed a resting place for his head. All this I saw by the light of the dying fire, and it was very interesting to me, it was at that hour when sleep naturally takes possession of the whole animated world, there was no sound except the loud quiet breathing of the sleepers, and now and then a snore. At last the morning broke, the negroes waked or were wakened singly and in groups, and scattered out of the house, and after combing out my hair and pinning it up I gathered up my skirts and walked through the wet grass down to the camp ground, passing several fires I came to ours. Lonzo, exhausted by his watch the night before, was stretched on the board and again asleep. I enquired of Charlie where Father was, and he directed me to the tent. I found Father there, lying on a pile of mattresses & carpents and so covered up with blankets & comforts that at first I could not find him; he looked haggard when I did see him, and wakened with a start at my kiss. Oh my dear Father, how much trouble, how much wearying anxiety he has now. We found that we need not have moved so precipitately the night before, for our carpet tent had not leaked at all, only a little rain had blown in at one end, Father had not had time to get the bedding in the wagon before the rain came & had lain down under the tent and slept all night. As I watched the sun rise triumphant over the flying clouds that morning I thought with Thompson “Here come the powerful God of day triumphant in the east,” it was a glorious sight and a glad one to us. I am afraid I must confess that the thoughts of the grandeur of the sight were soon followed by a comfortable thought that the bright sunlight would dry the wet grass and sloppy roads. The wagons left camp about seven o’clock & we followed in an hour or so, we had gone about a half a mile when we perceived the mule wagon drawn drawn to a halt and all the other mule equipages in front, the carriage had not yet started from camp. When we came near enough, Loring called to Emmeline “broke down?" she bobbed her head and we knew our fate, we knew it better and with more anxiety though when on riding up we saw Anthony’s wagon turned over in a deep and wide ditch, its load partly thrown out. and the negroe men up to their knees in water around, working at the body. The brood wheel of the wagon had slipped off the bank and all had gone into the ditch together, poor Antony, whose negligence had caused it all, looked quite crestfallen. They were still in the ditch, crying out and “heaving"and directing when Father’s troubled voice broke in upon us, all had been so busy they had not noticed his approach. Antony immediately commenced his excuse, but it was quite lost in Father’s reproof. At length the wagon was pulled up on the bank again, and then the extent of the evil was learned, the back wheel, (the same one that was filled at La Fourche) was “completely smashed up," which means it was to be filled over entirely; well, the end was that they put a drag under the axle, hung the wheel on the back of another wagon and started, but not by any means as easily as I have written it. (Miss Mary and I with the children came on, followed by the mule teams, Mother waited behind for Father.) We (the advance guard) arrived here before twelve, and drew up on our old camping place in the grove. We went up to the house just opposite to see Mrs. Smith about corn and fodder & a shelter but she was gone to Winsboro and there was no one at home but a Mr. Williams, a boarder as he informed us, he gave us quite an autobiography of himself, but did not know anything about our business, except that we could get corn and fodder and that he reckoned Mrs. Smith would let us have what else we wanted, as she was very accommodating to strangers, had been ever since he had been there, and that was two months & more. We have not found her very obliging, but let that pass, the poor woman has seen much sorrow, she has lost her husband and thirteen children on this very place, her last child died a few months since. Mr. Williams told us that she was a beautiful child of five years old, “the kindest child to be so much spoiled of any he ever saw.” (The poor man has none of his own, I expect.)

It was quite late in the afternoon before the wagons arrived, and they were ready to commence on the broken wheel, but Lonzo and Sandy and Father all worked with other subordinates and they advanced rapidly. The wheel is now nearly completed and it is only about twelve o’clock. I have been writing by snatches nearly all the morning, first seated by the camp fire where Mother and Mr. Duvall were talking on subjects very interesting to me, and for a time when Willie came up I ceased writing altogether. Now I am in the carriage by Georgie, who has had a chill and now is sleeping off the fever. The dear little fellow is so still and patient that he does not interrupt me much; my poor little darling, his face is sadly pale and is growing quite sallow. I wish he were well like John, who is still plump and red cheeked as ever, and — as mischievous. Two soldiers paid us a visit this morning, they are from Bragg’s army, left since the fight, two good looking, well behaved young men, one had lost a finger in the fight, poor young man, he was so strikingly like Horace, the same blue eye and yellow moustache and same expression of lip, only he was short and Horace was quite tall. I remember him well, though it has been six years since I saw him last. But I have quite digressed from my subject, it was (?) that of the fight. This soldier says the two days Saturday and Sunday we gained a great victory, after that there was only cannonading until they left, since then they have heard that Rosencrans was captured, he had been driven to Chattanooga, and we had possession of Lookout mountain. D. H. Hill and Longstreet were near, though not I believe in the action. Oh, I hope it is all true. This soldier said “There were a heap of men killed up there,” how sadly true, many a man, and “no man died to himself alone.”

This soldier also told us that someone had tried to cross the Mississippi last week with a wagon, and had been taken; I did say it is best after all that we did not attempt. All other considerations I could cast behind me, but oh, if Willie could only be with Angus and John, I should feel as if I had three brothers together almost, though Willie is dearer, infinitely dearer than they can be, though they are Valeria’s brothers.

I must not forget an important thing I learned this morning. Old Mr. Cole came down here to see about buying the lumber we brought along for a flat, and while he asked how I and Molly got along, he was very much delighted with Molly the day we stopped at his house. I then entered into an explanation of my grievances, and he told me he knew a certain cure for the swinney, he had cured many a horse, I eagerly took it down, and am going to try it in good faith, though Mr. Duvall does say he don’t believe it can cure her.

The weather is now clear and fine, Just cool enough. We shall only follow our old road as far as the Boeuf, where we take a road up by Girard, to leave the negroes there, I am glad we are to take a different road, though I should like to see the beautiful forest of the La fourche again, but I dread it’s bad bridge for the wagons & our old encampment there has such painful associations that I do not wish to see it again till our prospects are brighter.

Boeuf River, fourth return camp. Friday morning, Oct. 9th.

Last night we arrived at our old camp here, pitched our tent on the same place, and tied the mules to the same tree as we did before. We left Bogue Chitto at about one o’clock, and arrived here at sunset, without any accident. This evening found us all more cheerful than we have hitherto been, and we sat round the camp fire and talked some time after supper, leaving out almost entirely the subject of our future prospects. Today we hope to make Crew Lake, a few miles beyond Girard. This will be a new road for us. Molly is still very lame, hardly able to carry me, she was yesterday evening. I hope she may be improved this morning. I believe I have nothing more to write of importance, and Miss Mary wants to go down and see the wagons ford; I should not object were it not for my remembrance of the oaths with which the first crossing here was accompanied, the sound of profanity makes me feel sick at heart; I wonder how men can dare to take the Holy name in vain.

Millhaven, Saturday,
Oct. 10th. 1863.

We are almost at our journey’s end now, indeed this is the end of the journey, for the railroad negroes and Mr. Duvall and Mr. Burke, for here they separate from us, Father is going to leave the negroes on Mr. Gordon’s place, they are to gather corn and live down here untill he can form some better plan. Mr. O’Leary left us yesterday, at Girard. Willie says he felt very badly at leaving, and could not finish a sentence asking Father if ever he worked on a railroad again to remember him. We left Boeuf river yesterday morning, quite early, and came on steadily to Girard, the road was very good, and led through pretty, shady woods, somehow our spirits seemed quite high. I don’t know how it happened, for we do not often enjoy high spirits lately; we started at first with the ox teams, but passed ahead of them, and Miss Mary and I had a delightful and exhilarating galop with Willie, which contributed very much to our cheerfulness. We stopped about seven miles from the ford, to get water, and the old negro woman who brought it out asked me where we were going, when I told her she asked if we had not passed a certain house on our way, said she was there, and that she knew Miss Mary and I as soon as she saw us; they had moved from the Manchac, down near New Orleans, and now wished themselves back, this is the story everyone tells, “I wish I were home again.” As for me, I was reluctant to leave home, and now, so contradictory am I that I do not long to get back at all; that is as for as I am concerned; I do indeed wish for repose for Father and Mother, they both look weary and worn.

We stopped for dinner yesterday at Mrs. Raines’ place, Mr. Myrick’s Mother-in-law; but found to our regret that they had all moved a week ago, started for the west somewhere. After eating our little lunch, we came on to Girard, halted there a little while, for Father to see Mr. Baldwin, and then came on through the swamp, the green trees grew thick around us, and underneath them the grass spread a carpet of verdure, all brightened by the “western waves of ebbing day.” We wound slowly along the crooked road, rough, and broken into mud holes very often, and it was almost dusk when we arrived at Mr. John Webb’s, here Father stopped a few minutes to speak to Mr. Webb, who came out to welcome him with much cordiality, and who invited us to remain in his house during the night, but we thought we had better camp as usual, and drove over Crew Lake to what Mr. Webb pronounced the best camping place we ever saw, we found it quite a good one indeed, and I, at least, was rejoiced to arrive there. The oxteams came up about dark, none at all broken, which was quite fortunate over the rough road. One wheel had two or three spokes cracked, but that was done in driving up the hill at the ford when the wagon ran into a gulley and came very near turning over. We had hardly got established at our camp before we heard a sound of hearty greetings and laughing and very soon Mr. Duvall ushered up to the fire one whom he introduced as Captain Justice, he in an old acquaintance of Father’s and I have several time heard of him; he is such a character, I have not talent sufficient to draw his remarkable traits, he is a small old man, wrinkled and hoary and looking quite weather beaten though his eye is as bright and his manner as lively as that of a much younger man. He says he has been here a long time, he is now nearly sixty-four years old; “been here a long time” how much poetry is there in this expression, it reminds me somewhat of the answer of the Patriarch Jacob to Pharaoh. Capt. Justice is a man of temper, boldness and bravery it seems, and withal kind hearted and upright; his conversation sprightly and interesting though his language is rude, and I was so much entertained in listening to him last night that I almost forgot that I had eaten no supper and that I was tired and sleepy. Oh he is such a funny figure and has such a funny way of shutting his mouth and twinkling his eye. When the Yankees passed through here he ambushed himself near his daughter’s house with his gun and horse and watched their movements, he said he could easily have killed one or two, but thought he would not trouble them unless they “interfered with the women and then they should have paid for it certing;” he said if he had only known that they were going to camp where they did on Boeuf river he would made many of them fall that night. This is the hardy language of a pioneer of the old times, and Father says he would not have failed to act up to it. This morning he paid us another visit, and when Mollie was led to water some of us remarked how very lame she was, he enquired the cause and on hearing it was the swinney said immediately that he could cure it by rubbing turpentine well into the shoulder, and then ironing it, he offered to take Mollie and cure her in three weeks. I was only too glad to leave her with him as he promised so great a benefit, though I hated to part with her; Willie’s pet he always called her, and I always think of her more as Willie’s pet than mine; I shall never be able to thank Captain Justice enough if he cures her. It was nearly ten o’clock when we were ready to go to bed last night and I slept heavily after the fatigue of the day, this morning when I rose I was still drowsy and have been all day. We did not leave our camp until quite late and had only advanced two or three miles when we came to the La Fourche, here we found part of a rough puncheon bridge connected with the opposite by an old flat resting on the muddy bottom and with the floor all broken out. Mr. Burke succeeded in getting his mule over by pulling the bridle hard in front while Father and Uncle Jim beat it behind; Uncle Dick also crossed, his cart and the buggy went over but further crossing was found impracticable and Father went to work to repair the bridge, the negroes soon came up and it was not long before they had poles cut down and the flat floored over with the loose planks lying about, we crossed in safety and then laboured on through the swamp for a long way. The sight of this La Fourche made me feel sick. I rode in the buggy today with Loring and Eva and did not find the change very pleasant. Yesterday when we stopped for dinner Willie found that his dog Watch was gone, Steve said he thought he was back at the ford, and so after some little debating, Willie sent him back on Brandon to get him. Steve is a real dog tamer, and when he walks along with a gun on his shoulder and surrounded by dogs playing around his feet he reminds me forcibly of Rip Van Winkle, his figure adds to the picture very much, he is tall and stoop shouldered, and one of his legs crooks outward at the knee, which gives him a loose, shuffling gait, and which has gained him the name of “crooked Steve,” he always has a good natured grin on his wide mouth. Our journey today has been a very fatigueing one, through the swamp, the road was very rough, and when we got out of it we mistook the road and after travelling for four or five miles and going through a long, sunny field where the deep furrows knocked our heads together constantly, we had the pleasure of learning that our road was wrong, and retraced our steps under Mr. Duvall’s direction, who had ridden up to inform us of our mistake; we were following Uncle Levi, who said he knew all about the roads, and really he would have led us right if we had followed him a little further; he persevered in his own way and arrived here before we did, when we got back into the right road, Father was troubled about Uncle Levi and went back on foot to see if he had broken down, and we came and Mother waited for Father and altogether, we all got confused and irritated and heartily tired. At last we all arrived here, before sunset a little, and got into this little house and set to cooking and preparing for the night, It is now dusk, our supper is on the table (one we found here) and we are only waiting for Father, who is now coming, none of us have had a morsel since breakfast.

Millhaven, Monday, Oct. 12th.

Yesterday Father found that he had something to arrange here which would make it necessary for him to remain a day or two longer than he expected and he came to the conclusion that it would be best to send me on as avant coureur to Dr. Whyte to let him know we were coming and to inform him of our circumstances, so Loring and I are to go this morning in the buggy and come back tomorrow. Our affairs look perplexing now, Mr. Duvall was taken sick yesterday and Father says looks quite badly this morning, so that Father does not like to leave him alone to the care and trouble of the negroes, and he has no one else to leave. I hope it will all grow clearer soon, I have often seen that light dawns just after the greatest darkness, and I have faith that so it will be again. I hope poor Mr. Duvall may recover his strength, I feel the more sorry for him since I have done his injustice in my own mind and now deeply regret it. I have not time to write more. Eva is not well this morning and George has another chill.

Oakland, Thursday night,
Oct. 15th. 1863.

Our three weeks journey is safely ended, I sit by the fire in my own old room and date my journal “Oakland” once more, around me everything is familiar, but these things awaken no joy in my heart, this coming home is sadder than any departure has ever been to me, I feel my heart cold when I know it ought to be grateful, I am grateful, but I am so sad, so coldly sad, God forgive me and deliver me from my own sinful, murmuring heart. I have been busy today unpacking and arranging things. We came home yesterday, Miss Mary, Loring and I came in the buggy and arrived here at two o’clock, the others stopped in town and were later. The house looked lonely and strange, the great empty rooms echoed to the sound of our voices and the yard was littered with fallen leaves and scraps of cotton. Even the beautiful bright sunlight seemed to fall coldly. We tried to give the rooms a better aspect, lighted a fire in the dining room and made it a little less lonesome by the time Mother came. Father did not arrive till nearly sun down, we got the bedsteads set up and beds made and partially unloaded the wagons, then Mrs. Willson and Julia came in, stayed only a few minutes and after they left we had a little bread and meat for supper, called down the two poor couriers who had not eaten since morning, it was late when we retired, the day had been one of painful excitement and some fatigue to me and I was surprised this morning when I opened my eyes to find that it was broad day, shining through the uncurtained windows, but all was still, and I slept again. Poor Loring had a chill yesterday afternoon and another today, Georgie’s turn comes tomorrow. Poor children, I am sorry for them. We parted from Willie at Millhaven yesterday, he told Father in the morning that he believed he might as well hire a substitute as go into the army on this side the river, I could scarcely believe I heard correctly, it would be the saddest sorrow I ever have known for Willie to act thus, but I trust he will not; he afterwards asked Father to see Col. Harrison about taking him into his battalion. Father will see him tomorrow. I sometimes fear I am wrong in my feelings about this matter but honour, right, patriotism, all seem to me to point Willie to the army, I would be so unwilling for him to remain at home . But I am afraid sometimes that I am wrong in wishing him so earnestly to go. I shall never be happy while the war lasts if he does, now in the prospect I recoil from thinking of him and ask myself if I am not cruel and unsisterly, my heart is in chaos, has been since yesterday morning, the pleasure of seeing things take their old familiar place in the house, of arranging furniture and bringing order out of confusion, which used to be so delightful to me, has now lost its charm. My old room with even the glass of heliotrope, on the bureau as of old, and the firelight brightening the white curtains and bed covering and gleaming on polished mahogany fails to warm my heart; If I know myself rightly this cannot last long, the morning will come when I shall not be gloomy any longer, but I feel, I know that there is little joy for me, it may be for a long time, “resignation,” I would make the mottoe of my life. I say to myself over and over again, how much blessed I am, above many even in my circle of acquaintances, but this thought, though it causes my heart to fill with gratitude, cannot make me blind to my trial, and to feel that every human being has a cross given them, a cross to be acknowledged & borne not denied and avoided. The true, great words of Thomas a Kempis rise often in my soul. I believe with him that trial is everywhere and for every human being. My God give me strength patiently to bear what thou shalt appoint.

Oakland, Oct. 20th. 1863.

Yesterday I recommenced my little school, the children did very well, better in fact than I had dared to hope. I think I shall succeed better with them this winter than I did last. Oh if I could only interest them in their books, I should consider it the highest blessing of my life to be able to do them any good. We have gotten quite regulated now, Father has every one at work under his superintendance and the place has quite a different air from when we came here. I have been doing a little work among my flowers, putting fresh earth in the boxes, separating violets and I have had the little garden manured and spaded, the heliotrope in the garden is covered with blooms, I have gathered four large goblets full since we returned. Amid all these duties I have succeeded by God’s grace in subduing my bitter and complaining feelings. I still feel sad very often, but am yet cheerful, my health is very good, my face is full and rosy through the brown, and good health always tends to make me cheerful; there is nothing like work for me, idle and aimless days make me melancholy and miserable. Father has seen Col. Harrison about Willie, the Col. said he would be glad to have him join his regiment, and promised to give him a furlough for thirty days, intimating at the same time that it might be continued until January, he has only authority to give furloughs for thirty days at a time. Willie is to come up and be sworn in today, Father has gone to Monroe and Willie will meet him there, and return with him, it seems like such a long time since we left him.

It is very warm today and looks like rain, the cloudy sky is favourable to my little transplanted violets and to the bermuda grass Father set out by the door yesterday afternoon. The clock strikes nine and I must call up my four pupils.

Wednesday, Oct. 31st. 1863.

We were disappointed in seeing Willie yesterday, he could not have received Father’s note, we expect him certainly today, for Father has sent again for him. Mother is going in town today to bring Willie out and also to see Mrs. Stevens who has returned to Monroe. Father brought home some news last night which was quite sad for us to hear, Johnny Davis is at work for the Yankees, or, what is worse, for a reprobate Southerner called “old Montagu” who is perfect traitor to the country, and is working several plantations owned by refugees. I am so sorry that Johnny Davis should act so, it is disappointment too, we all had such high opinion of him; he wrote back to Mr. McGuire what he had done, I should not have thought he could have so much hardihood as to write of it. Mother thinks there may be some extenuating circumstances as he is very young, and his Mother may have influenced him to act thus in view of her poverty and necessity. We ought not to judge too harshly, we can never know all the motives one has, nor can we know the full strength of the temptations which assail others. How often have I condemned when I thought myself fully warranted in doing so, and afterwards have found the innocence of the supposedly guilty person, and felt myself deeply regretful of my harsh judgment, how true it is that God alone knows the hearts of his creatures, and God alone should condemn. I feel that it is my Redeemer alone that mercifully saves me from being as guilty as many of my fellows. We have not yet had the expected rain though it is still warm and cloudy, too warm to continue long at this season. Yesterday we did better in school than the day before, Loring was quite passionate over his first reading lesson, because I would not tell him every difficult word, and George was a little reluctant to come in school, but with these exceptions all went smoothly enough. Loring recited his other lessons perfectly and left the school room in high good humour.

Friday, Oct. 23rd.

Wednesday evening Willie came, we were all so glad to see him, John and George ran and clasped his knees the moment he alighted from the carriage, and John immediately pulled him in the pantry to the safe to get him a piece of candy. Willie only remained one night, the next morning he and Father went to Col. Harrison’s camp where Willie was sworn in and took his furlough, he then went down to Mill Haven. He says Capt. Justice says that Mollie is quite well except the healing of her shoulders, he thinks he has stopped the swinny.

Agnes Willson spent the day with Eva Wednesday, Julia sent me, by her, a beautiful boquet of rich flowers, dahlias, cape jessemine, lantanas, hybiscus, pomegranite and several others. The long threatened rain came last night, the whole day had been gloomy and cold and soon after supper the rain commenced, accompanied by a cold wind, it continued through the night, and this morning as I sit by the fire writing, the rain splashes regularly outside, such a cold, gloomy low rain, and the heavens are so covered with clouds that I can with difficulty see to write so far from the window.

The melancholy days are come
The saddest of the year —
The gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds
With the fair and good of ours,
The rain is falling where they lie
But the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth
The lovely ones again.

These lines were in my thought last night and sadly my heart echoed them as I thought of a distant grave.

Miss Mary took her first music lesson from Mrs. DeLory yesterday, she is to go in town twice a week to take a lesson. Loring drove her in yesterday, with two of our pupils being absent, we were only in the schoolroom an hour or two. Georgie is progressing, can spell six seven words, I do not make him learn the a - b abs, but have him read and learn words by observing them in sentences in connexion with others, in this way he will not forget them, and it is much more tolerable to him than the dry columns would be. It has some disadvantages, I know, but fewer I think than the other way.

Lucy Seale and Mrs. Norris rode up to see me Wednesday afternoon, Lucy was dressed, as she always is, with the utmost neatness, in black riding dress with white collar & cuffs and black velvet cap with a white plume, she told me that Mrs. Wilbur Compton had been very ill, and had lost her little baby with the diptheria.

Monday. Oct. 26th.

I rose very early this morning, the round moon was shining brightly into my west windows and did not set until I had been up some time. Father and I were the only ones stirring in the house, so I have gained time to write and read a little before breakfast, besides having my hour for devotion, quiet and alone.

Willie came home Saturday night, and spent Sunday with us, he is going back this morning, he and Mr. Duvall have moved up to Mrs. Willson’s place, “Limerick,” where they are to remain until they gather her corn. Willie makes excursions continually in search of hogs and cattle and other animals for food, so that he can scarcely be said to remain anywhere, he looks so well now, his health seems completely reestablished, he has not had a sick day for a long time. Mr. Duvall, poor man, continues very delicate, Willie says he eats scarcely anything and when he does take a little meat and bread he says he has taken too much, poor man! I am so sorry for him.

Mr. & Mrs. Barr dined with us yesterday, called on their way to Homer from Mrs. Barr’s Father’s in Tensas. We were very glad to see them, and sent many messages to them all at Homer. I should like so much to see Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Morancy and the baby, I told Mrs. Bowmar Barr to tell Mrs. Morancy to be sure and write to me. Dr. McDonough also dined with us yesterday, so that with the company & Willie and the couriers we had quite a long table. Willie brought us some excellent mutton and beef when he came up, so we gave them a very good dinner. Dr. McDonough has been over three times since we returned, and now that we are getting a little acquainted I like him very well, he is intelligent and well read I think, and talks very well when he forgets his bashfulness. We are getting quite settled now, Father is learning something about farming, it is so amusing to hear him directing about the feeding of the pigs & cows and mules, and to hear him talking about plowing. Mother said she had a square in the garden she wanted ploughed for shalotts, and he even said he thought he could plough that much himself! Although it is such a new and strange business to Father he is bringing everything into order and improvements are going on all about; Oh, I do so wish this might be our permanent home, I mean our home for this short life, but I suppose that cannot be, I never look upon it as such now; but now that we are getting settled down again and building houses and chimneys and talking about how our peach trees will bear next year, and how grape vines must be set out in the spring, and trees pruned and seeds sown. I think how delightful it would be to work thus year after year and see one years work in the improvement of the next, and the place is growing into my heart more closely and deeply. I once thought it was parted forever, but it was ordained otherwise.

I am reading Cosmos again, am only in the third volume, for nearly half a year I had not opened the book until this last week. I am reading “Kenilworth” aloud, we all find it extremely interesting, but feel sad all the time that it must come to such an unhappy end. I think no one ever drew characters and scenes more true than those of Scott and such a multiplicity, in that lies the wonder and the charm.

Thursday, Oct. 29th. 1863.

Tuesday morning Mrs. Willson sent to borrow the buggy and after a while Mother decided to lend it to her and send Miss Mary in to her music lesson in the carriage, and proposed that I should accompany her and go to see Mary Stevens, so I went, for I wished very much to see her and Mrs. Stevens. After leaving Miss Mary at Mrs. DeLary’s I drove to Mrs. Dr. McGuire’s, only intending to spend a few moments, for my errand was to get some hops for Mother and to reborrow Lamartine for myself, but I lengthened my few minutes very astonishingly, for I like Mrs. McGuire very much and could not break from her conversation, continuous, varied and interesting as well as discriminating and kind, how many adjectives! but they are all just, she is of french parentage, but married an American, and retains her vivacity and penetration in her age and in spite of a life full of sorrow, she has lost her husband and her family of children, as well as many relatives; her parlour is a perfect room of curious and pretty things, so crowded together that one can hardly distinguish their beauties, and the walls papered with the old fashioned, large figures are hung up to the low ceiling with family portraits and good engravings, then she has a large library and a greenhouse and a large garden.

From Mrs. McGuire’s I went to Mrs. Steven’s where I met a quiet but warm welcome from May and her Aunt, Mrs. Stevens looks sad and much older to me than when I saw her last; May is much improved, the stony look of sorrow has left her face and I have seldom seen a sweeter expression, it beatified her plain features and after I returned home often while reading, her large open blue eyes with their mild, kind light, and the softened smile on her mouth would come between me and the page, and withdraw my attention from stars and planets to human life. I read in May’s face that her deep sorrow had been blessed to her, and I am so glad. Yet her lot is a sad one, resignation, though peaceful, is not joyous, and how many, many times the thought of her irreparable loss must come upon her. If I, with all my blessings, am often yearningly sad, what must she be. We did not speak of their grief but once when I spoke of our return home Mrs. Stevens said how blest we were to be able to return as we had left, and I could say nothing, while my heart wept for her, and while I thought of my own wicked ingratitude on this same return. We conversed cheerfully of many things, and when Miss Mary called for me I regretted that we could not remain longer, Mrs. Stevens and May pressed so to do so, but Uncle Jim was needed at home so we could not stay. They said I must come and spend a week with them, Mrs. Stevens said it was “so lonely,” I should like to very much but cannot think of it at present, the children are getting so well commenced in school. George is learning rapidly, Loring does very well and is improving today and yesterday I had some trouble with him but he has a cold and I had him commence a new lesson, learning the states and capitals, a difficult lesson for a child, and I would not give it to him, but I have no maps to teach it otherwise, a large map of the former United States would be a great aid in our school room.

During our ride home from Monroe Miss Mary entertained with a description of her lesson and her teacher, and an account of a proposed concert near Christmas, but after she tired of talking and we had passed all the soldiers and rolled along the quiet road, I thought of many things, but my thoughts dwelt with a passionate yearning on my dear friend, I thought of her, far away, maybe suffering. I have no idea where she is, have received no letter since July and my letter sent by Johnny Davis, directed to Miss Harrison was I think taken by the Yankees. John gave it to a Mr. McKinny who was taken prisoner and searched on his way, even if I knew where she was I have no opportunity of sending a letter. I want to see her, sometimes the longing grows painful, I know that she loves me, and I feel in her such a perfect confidence of sympathy. Oh there is nothing so comforting, so lovely as a pure friendship, nothing except that mystic bond of a pure love which for me is only, can only be in imagination or in the lost and irrecoverable, and in friendship there is a quiet sweetness which belongs to that alone, a community of age, of feelings, of ideas exists between myself and Valeria which I hold with no other. I may be long separated from her, but this true affection must ever be one of my greatest blessings, my dearest joys. Sometimes I feel we shall never meet again, but this is an idle fear, it may be so, but I should not let the anticipation of a possible evil trouble me.

It is now past sunset, the short winter twilight is fading, the day has been rainy and cloudy by turns, and I am sitting by my window, the sash is raised for the air is not cold, the hillside is no longer green, but varied with the rich colour of fall with a few green leaves and above all, the dark, strong tinted foliage of the pine, the rosy light comes through the light clouds and pervades the air, but as I write it grows dim and the darkness comes on, but even the dusk has a tint of rose.

This is Willie’s twenty second birthday, he was here yesterday, but could not be at home on his birthday as we wished, he only stayed to dinner with us yesterday, he works so hard, his aid is invaluable to Father. My dear Father, his cares wear upon him, his expression is changed to one of constant care and anxiety and his voice has taken a tone of sadness that makes the tears start to my eyes when I hear it, his talents are the same, he still accomplishes very much, but how it would gladden me to see again the clear, bright glance of his eye, I have never seen a man’s eye with such a beautiful expression when he is well and happy, it is so clear one feels that no falsity, not the shadow of it is there, and it strong and boyish in perfect innocence and it kind of gaiety and yet one feels that they can perfectly trust their life even, to him. I cannot express the “expression," I once pointed it out to Valeria, and she recognized it immediately.

Monday, Nov. 2nd. 1863.

It is now indeed winter, though the weather is less wintry than we had last month, true to it’s character the first of November was chill and misty, this morning it is very warm, but cloudy.

Willie came home Saturday evening, spent Sunday with us, he leaves again this morning. We have hopes of getting the books and piano again soon. Mr. Gordon was here yesterday, wanted to get some iron from Father, made an arrangement with him to bring our things, it will be so pleasant to have them again, we miss the books especially.

We had a frost Friday night which killed the heliotropes out in the garden. I cut them down and covered the roots, the large one had such a thick stalk, it was like a little tree.

Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.

I am at home today for the first time since we returned, I feel the full thankful home feeling, my beloved hillside speaks to my heart today for the first time and wakes a warm, trembling throb of joy, the old meaning which has lain asleep so long that I feared it was gone forever has wakened and once more everything looks familiar and dear, there is my beloved pine standing clear against the deep blue sky, there is the delicate tracery of the more distant oak tops, and the little vista of brown trunks opening through a space between the sweet gum and the hickorys, the young straight hickorys are indeed yellow with autumn leaves and many a sere one has fallen at their feet, but what matter, I shall see again spring’s delicate buds, I shall again watch spring expand into summer, on this same hillside from this same western window if God wills — and today I feel so humbly happy that it seems to me I can always bow to his will. I know I shall not always be thus submissive, but let me thank Him for his grace while I enjoy, — when temptation comes I must pray. Miss Mary has gone to her music lesson this morning and my little pupils finished their lessons early and learned them perfectly, without a word of reproof, this I know is the secret of my happy mood, and the humility comes from a recollection of Father’s perhaps unmeant reproof, it was good for me, it touched a sore point, I shall now look better into my heart and be more careful that I do no set myself up as better than others. Oh this warm, bright sunshine, the clear blue sky and the white clouds floating over it, and through the open window comes the rustle of the leaves, the hum of insects and the occasional chirp of the bird, all those low, bright sounds which come with the sunshine and the breeze of a warm autumn day, with them comes in my heart a thousand ecstatic, undefined thoughts and feelings, it is in such hours as these that we realize what happiness may be, it is then that we feel life, life in its sense of full and perfect being, not its varied cares and hopes and aims which are called forth by our social life; life as the free existence of an individual, ah the very consciousness of such a life is fraught with a sense of joyous freedom. Nature is well called our Mother, what a close delightful union exists between nature and human feeling, nature always reaches my heart.

Monday, Nov. 9th.

I arose very early this morning, about half past four o’clock, was very sleepy at first and shuddered to leave the warm bed, but I felt glad of it afterwards, I had finished bathing, and was dressed in my warm wrapper and had a quiet hour to myself when Father called me to look at the moon, the whole place was asleep, and overhead the stars shone bright in the solemn morning heaven, the moon, a silver thread, shone in the eastern horizon and high above glowed Venus so brilliant yet mild in her beauty, she was the fairest gem in the heavens, but my heart gave a bound of joyous recognition as I walked into an open space between the trees and saw glorious old Orion just before me, what a beautiful constellation it is and being the first one I learned, it seems like a familiar friend, there too were all the well known winter constellations, Sirius and Procyon and the pretty little triangle in Argo Novis were near Orion in the south, the sickle or Leo glittered nearly on the meridian, Capella in the west and the twins, and below them the Pleiades and Aldebaran. while in the north Casseiopeia was setting and the brilliant pointers showed the polestar, hundreds of smaller stars were sowed over the heavens, but Venus was the queen of them all, she glowed and brightened to the eye not like a star but resembling the moon in it’s mild radiance. I came in for a few minutes, and than went out to watch the stars pale one by one and disappear till only Sirius glimmered with scarcely distinguishable light, and Venus grew faint above the moon which seemed to dissolve in the rosy, golden glow of the advancing dawn. I thought of the lines, “Friend after friend departs” . . . . “Thus star by star declines, till all are past away, As morning higher and higher shines, To pure and perfect day.” Who can thus watch the fading stars without such thoughts, the sadness and gloom faints before the triumphant brightness of the glorious King of day, then the heart rejoices in the remembrance of the Sun or Righteousness which here we see only darkly, but hereafter shall rise in dazzling brilliancy. The winter sun rises late, and I waited only to see the pyramidal glow diffuse itself over the whole heavens, and to find myself growing cold and weary of my position. I returned to the house with my heart full of the freshness of the morning, and strengthened for the day before me, when I again left my room for breakfast the red disc of the sun was just appearing behind the trees and I watched it until my eyes were so dazzled I could hardly see to read Thompson’s dawning and sunrise, a scene so true and so beautiful.

It was Wednesday I think that we were surprised by a visit from Willie, he came up with Mr. Gordon, who left on the stage that evening, he went to turn his wagons back for our piano and books, they will be here now in two or three weeks. Willie was back again Friday night, came to see Mrs. Willson on business; she has at last decided to go to Texas, will try to leave today. We have bought all her stock and sold her two teams. Willie rode up yesterday just as we were going to breakfast, spent the day with us, was obliged to go back in the evening, for Mr. Duvall was away at Mr. Putnam’s. We walked down to see Mrs. Willson yesterday evening, found them in the last stages of packing, we know well what that is, everything to do and the heart sick and head weary. Julia was busy at work, looked very badly, pale and hollow eyed, Mrs. Willson was suffering from a headache, could scarcely open her eyes but was as amiable, gentle voiced as ever, with her yellow hair smooth and her mourning dress perfectly neat in its arrangement. I feel so much for them, they are to start this morning and must now be sick, the sad hour, the hour of our departure is present to me now, its hard sorrow, and its future of danger and uncertainty; and yet now we are quiet at home again; how unaccountable are the workings of feeling, I grieved to leave home, I grieved to return, and now that I can once more feel the grateful joy of being at home, I still sometimes regret with such intensity that we could not have continued our journey, now and then there comes a vague, unacknowledged wish for the strangeness, the freedom, the adventure of our unfinished journey, or of any journey like it into an unknown land. But this is only now and then, I thank God for this peaceful asylum, for all those dally cares and daily joys which little as they make up the sum of our life below, to build, to sow, to plant, and till that we may next year reap the fruit of our labours, to watch the leaves fall with the hopeful thought that we shall see those same trees bud again, these are pleasant things; my daily duties are little things, to teach line upon line, some days to be cheered by the hope that I have benefited, others to be cast down with the thought that my work is useless, to endeavor to improve my own mind and my life, and to succeed in learning how little an idea I have of the knowledge others have toiled to gain, and to penetrate day by day deeper into my own heart, drawing thence some little sparks of good to cheer me, but seeing Oh so much uncharitableness, so much selfishness and ingratitude; thus are my weeks and months chequered even amid their seeming monotony, and I hope that I shall some day struggle into more strength, greater purity. I read yesterday in Pilgrim’s progress the parable of the two husbandmen, one of whom sat down in dispair in his overgrown farm; the other weeded the fields little by little, every day removing a stone, and at length his whole farm was clear, and smiling with abundant harvests, and then I turned to my little note book and read from Thomas a Kempis, “If every year we rooted out one fault we should soon become perfect men.”

Monday, Nov. 16th.

The week that has past since I last wrote has been a long one and very eventful to us. Miss Mary and Loring went in town on Monday, and as Eva was not very well we did not have any school. Mrs. Mays came to spend the day. In the evening Willie rode up accompanied by his substitute, it is a hard word for me to write, harder still for me to think of. Michael Fry to his name, from one of the border states of Germany, a strong, stout man, accustomed to exposure and hardship, his price is ten thousand dollars in money, a horse, saddle and bridle, and to provide a house and bread stuff for his family during his absence, it is a high price to pay but a little one to receive when one is going to a life of peril and hardship only for the price. The surgeon here expressed himself well pleased with the man, but the papers had to go to some higher officer from whom they returned the other day with the endorsement, “no more substitutes received except in case of the sickness or disability of the party procuring them,” this is ridiculous for it is only those well qualified for the army that need a substitute, Col. Harrison said it was an assumption of power and advised Father to write to Kirby Smith about it. I sometimes think I have false ideas on this subject, and that Willie is perhaps doing his duty better by remaining to assist Father who so much needs him than by going into the camp where he would not assist our country any more, but still I cannot help feeling it as a stain, a cause for blushing, that he should have a substitute. Oh, if we had only got to Georgia! but then a greater sorrow might have come upon us. I ought to be resigned, and yet I cannot be. It seems to me I am getting more and more irritable and unhappy. The children, try me so much, I could be happy if I thought I was doing them any good. Friday Mother, Father and Miss Mary went to town and George had a chill, so I had only Lory and Eva in school. I tried to teach them with as much gentleness as possible, but Lory yawned and made faces and would not read, and at last fell into a fearful passion. I have never seen any one like him when he does so, which he does quite often, he raged and trembled and almost foamed, I could not control him at all, but at last succeeded in making him finish reading, though I almost had to tear the words from his mouth. I could not help being provoked with him. It is so hard when I do all I can to be told that he hates to look at me, and to hear me talk, and wishes there was never a book written, and that he would rather be dead than have to come up in that room with me every day. After he got over his reading he did the rest very well, and was in good humour before he left, but I cannot improve him any while he is subject to such rages, and when they went down stairs I was perfectly weak and lay down by little Georgie to weep passionately. I was so dissatisfied with myself, and so sorry to have given way to my temper. This morning again Loring was so bad, not only to me but to his sisters that I thought it my duty to tell Mother, though I did after a struggle. I don’t know what I ought to do, I suppose he will hate me at last, but it cannot be right for me to give him up to this terrible temper, if he does not learn to control it he will be miserable, through life.

Mary Stevens and Mrs. Harrison, her cousin, dined with us Friday, they came by in the morning on their way to Dr. Temple’s to have Mrs. Harrison’s teeth worked on, and did not get back to dinner till late, their visit was so pleasant that it made me almost forget the morning but at night the recollection came back. Oh if I could be assured that I doing right, that the end will be for good I could bear the present trial, but sometimes I think it would be better for me to let Loring alone altogether.

Mr. Seale set out for Arkansas on Monday, he is to buy flour and grain and salt for us. Dr. McDonough took tea with us Thursday, Willie was also here, it was the twenty third anniversary of Father’s and Mother’s wedding, and also Father’s fiftieth birthday. The weather is now cold and clear, the ground is strewn with fallen leaves and those that still hang on the tress are brown and withered. Mr. Bowmar Barr called Wednesday and left a letter for me from Mrs. Morancy, it was affectionate but very sad, they are still in Homer but think of going to Minden. This morning we heard two volleys of shot, probably over the graves of some of the dead soldiers, the hospitals are nearly opposite, one above, one below us, several have died since we returned, Dr. McDonough says mostly from imprudence after they are convalescent; they came for our ambulance to send two home for burial. Poor fellows! they have no comforts, and few necessaries for the sick room, the Dr. says he is ashamed of their hospital equipments, it makes me sad sometimes to think how we have every comfort and are in health, while just over the road men are dying or languishing with but a pallet to lie upon, where they have no room to turn themselves, and once they had no candles, Mother gave them some to light a poor man to death. This courier we have here said yesterday, “A good many poor fellows over yonder are getting long furloughs,” long furloughs indeed, and the saddest part is many of them are not going home.

Wednesday, Nov. 18th.

Mr. Gordon came back last night but I suppose it will be a week before the wagons arrive. I am getting on a little better in school, yesterday Miss Mary went to her music lesson but the others were in school and did very well indeed. George took quinine and missed his chill; he has had but three, and yet he looks pale and thinner already.

Father went on a shopping excursion yesterday, bought a piece of very pretty plaid linsey for twelve dollars a yard! and some other woolen stuff for seven, he brought home a piece of bleached cotton for Mother to look at, it is coarse and very thin, price nine dollars per yard! The cheapest thing was a paper of needles only a dollar and a half.

Thursday, Nov. 26th. 1863.

My nineteenth birthday, it is evening, and that quiet hour when all are gathered in the parlour and no sound is heard except the crackling of my fire which throws its cheerful light all over the walls and furniture, a pleasant scene inside, but out of doors the dreary November evening is fading into night. I feel sad, and many thoughts stir in my breast, as I think of the past year, ah, if I could, I would not write the retrospect here, many trials there have been, it has been the most eventful period of my life and probably will remain, so, but it is not for me to consider what I have felt, but how I have improved the gifts of Providence for trials are gifts as well as joys, and to me more beneficial ones, I hope tremblingly that I may have grown stronger, more perfect in the faith which is life’s greatest blessing, but I feel within me the need of far, far greater strength, in looking into my heart today, I see many prevailing errours of life and thought, and there are others thrown into the shade I know, I feel every day, every hour how weak my own resolves are, unless my God supports me! But with all these thoughts mingle those of the dead and the absent. I yearn for my friend, my Valeria. If I could write to her, if I could once more see her familiar writing, even if I knew where she is, I pray constantly that I may meet her again, sometimes I fear that if this is permitted it may be years hence, and our youth is slipping away, it is an unworthy thought that she should change in aught but to grow better, but I need her so much now, I can scarcely bear to look forward to meeting so long from now.

I spent a few days in town last week with Mary Stevens, went in Thursday, and came out Sunday; it seemed so strange to be at leisure, and free from plans as to how I should apportion my day, I enjoyed my visit, it was very quiet and somewhat sad. Mrs. Stevens was not well, and I spent most of my time with May, she was kind and gentle but the shadow on her is dark and heavy, poor Mary, how every hope seems to have been removed, it seems to me she must live amidst sad memories and she does in a measure, but not as I would, she is an excellent disposition. I met a neice of Mr. Stevens who is visiting them, Mrs. Tucker, a widow, and in very delicate health, her two little girls were with her. Eva commenced taking music lessons today from Mrs. Delary, she is quite delighted to commence and seems anxious to improve. I think she has musical taste.

Sunday when I came home I found that our books and piano had come. Monday as soon as school was over we commenced to unpack them. I spent that evening and the next in arranging them upon the shelves in the parlour where I thought a few months ago I should never see them stand. Father put up the shelves and fixed a lock on the door and we laid down a small carpet and arranged the furniture so that now our parlour is very comfortable and pleasant looking, something better than luxury pervades it. Yesterday evening Father took the piano apart, it was very much out of tune, and he tried to screw it up but in doing so broke a string, fortunately it snapped near where it was fastened and by unwinding the other end Father made it as good as new. We did not dare to screw it any more for fear of breaking some more strings, and we concluded something else must be the matter, so by dint of much examination and gentle pushing and pulling Father took out the board to which the hammers are attached, dusted it thoroughly and put it back without producing any effect. At last Miss Mary observed that the short, sharp sound was caused by the fact that the hammer did not fall properly but remained in contact with the string thus preventing it’s vibration. Miss Mary and Father at length discovered the screw which left the lever under the hammer in place, and to our great exultation we screwed them all till the hammers sunk properly and although there is still something else needed, the piano is now in very tolerable tune, so much better than it was before that we are quite charmed. My little charges have done quite well in school this week. Yesterday morning I was at the chest getting out some statuettes for the �tag�re, when Lory came to me with a petition, I knew by his face before he spoke, it commenced, “Sister Sarah, if I ask you something will you tell me yes,” I said I must know what it was first, it was that he and George might go to Limerick with Uncle Jim, who was going out to get some strawberry plants. I said I could not, for Miss Mary and Eva were going away today, and that would be two days out of the week, but he promised so earnestly to study his lessons today if I would let him go that I consented, and he ran off to get Mother’s consent, he and George were highly delighted, had a great deal to tell about brother Willie when they came back, and brought a curious ear of corn from him, it is eight ears in one, small of course, but making a large group, lying close, and each separate ear quite full. Loring was true to his promise, said his lessons well this morning. We have had quite cold weather for several days, this morning it was freezing cold and quite clear, but grew dark and cloudy towards night. Mrs. Seale spent the day with us. I finished Mother’s gloves today, have not knit them to fit very well. Spent the evening in sewing on some buckskin gloves which Father is experimenting on. Have not read much since I returned from town, I fear I shall not finish Cosmos this year as I hoped. Yesterday evening I read Lamartine’s description of a view of Constantinople from Pera, the description is beautiful, so melodious, so graceful, it gave me great pleasure, a pleasure such as he himself describes “Calme et contemplatif” not very calm either, though free from such disturbing emotion as we have in other pleasures, a beautiful description, a fine sentiment elevates me to enthusiasm, carries me away from the common, minute realities of life onto those exalted heights which are not less real since they belong to the spirit world which shall endure forever.

I am reading “Little Dorrit” aloud, I do not like it very much, my interest in it already begins to flag, though I am as yet only a quarter through. The wearying phraseology of the characters, the constant, recurring portraitures, produce somewhat of the effect of repetition, in my mind Dickens cannot compare with Scott.

Saturday evening, Nov. 28th.

Oh how cold it is! I am very cold though sitting on the rug, with my ink down on the hearth, a position I have taken both for the warmth and for the firelight. Miss Mary and Eva went in to their lesson today, though it was cold and rainy, I sent May Stevens a heliotrope cutting, and some books, she sent me out a root of the “crown imperial,” when I was in Monroe we rode up to “Limerick” and got some of these and some hyacinths, she sent me the hyacinths the other day. After being cloudy and wet all day the sun came out brightly this evening, and the glow of its crimson setting still lingers in the west.

Yesterday morning we were all joyfully excited by Mollie’s arrival; Capt. Justice’s little son rode her home, she does not limp at all, but is a little stiff in her shoulder which Capt. Justice thinks she will never recover from. I must take a ride the first fair day.

Mr. J. Gordon left for Texas yesterday.

A new courier, a Mr. Flowers, came here the other day, Wednesday, we have now two, Mr. Bilberry and Mr. Flowers, for a time we had only one, the second one who came was very anxious to go home, as he had a large family, and had left his affairs somewhat unsettled. Father used his influence to get him a furlough, and he has been absent eight days, he promised to bring Miss Mary and I some flowers on his return, entirely of his own accord.

Father has decided to take Mrs. Willson’s place ("Limerick") and Willie is there now, we expect him home tonight.

Major Bry returned from Houston the other day with some goods; brought some calico for us at five dollars a yard, sevenpence in peace times, he did not get any shoes, they were seventy-five dollars a pair. Dr. Calderwood returned from Vicksburg yesterday, brought out some goods, very nice shoes, at five dollars a pair; I should not be willing thus to enter into trade with the Yankees, it does not seem loyal and right to me; they have to buy with specie or Yankee paper issue, of course; these calicos we have were brought from the North, I suppose, too, but then we did not bring them thence. I have been busy all day sewing Eva’s palmetto hat, but could not quite finish it before dark. I don’t think these hats are very pretty for girls, but they are quite serviceable, and are all we have, this one does not quite suit me in shape, although I tried hard to make it like mine.

Friday, Dec. 4th.

I took my first ride on Mollie Tuesday evening, Father and I rode down to the mill, through the woods, in other times our favourite and almost daily ride, we had a very pleasant one on Tuesday, Mollie did not go lame at all, she actually bounded beneath me in her old wild, free way. I enjoyed my ride very much, it had been nearly two years since Father and I rode together. I was busy Wednesday evening in the garden with Uncle Jim setting out roses and other things; I set a cutting of a climbing rose which Willie brought me from Arcadia before my window, and a honeysuckle and “Lady Banks” in front of the house. We put stakes around them and I think they will grow. I was very intently superintending the planting of my roses when Dr. McDonough came up, he took me quite by surprise but I was very glad to see him, as I always am for I have come to like him very much. He sat some time. Miss Mary made the remainder of some gelatine that he sent over Sunday, he said the poor soldier to whom it was given relished it exceedingly and was getting better, he said he would tell him that a young lady made it with her own hands, that they seemed so gratified at the idea of a lady doing anything for them. Mrs. McGuire came out yesterday with Miss Mary, she is going to stay several days. The weather has moderated very much, is now quite warm, I think it will rain soon. I finished Eva’s hat Monday, it is a very good shape, in spite of my trouble about it; Eva was at Mrs. Roane’s yesterday and says she admired it very much.

Thursday, Dec. 10th. / ’63.

Sunday night there was a soldier here from Bragg’s army, he was on foot and we took him in, though the house was full; he brought a newspaper which contained news of the late battle between Bragg and Rosencranz, it appears that Bragg was defeated, but I am in hopes from the tenour of the despatches that he may recover his position. The dispatch said that the Washington and Cobb artillery had been taken with all their guns. I do not know whether John and Angus and Green Raoul were in that division, but oh I hope not; I have been thinking of them and their sister all the week, it has seemed as if I were walking among memories of the dead and absent, and a grief like that of first bereavement has been with me. Oh if I only knew where Valeria was, I might write to her and that would be some relief from the grief of her absence. I wonder if she has any idea of how constantly she is in my thoughts, ever lovingly and with a great desire.

Mrs. McGuire went away yesterday, she had improved from her visit. I have been busy as usual during the week, reading and teaching, yesterday Loring went out to where they were gathering corn, and as Eva and Miss Mary were away, and Georgie sick with a chill, I could have no school. I sewed awhile on Father’s glove and after finishing it took up Cosmos, but after reading a little I found I had such a headache, and felt so sick that I was obliged to lie down. I slept until dinner and awoke much better.

Last night we recommenced our readings which had been interrupted during Mrs. McGuire’s visit, we have nearly finished Little Dorritt.

Eva had a chill Sunday, but took quinine and did not have another. Georgia has had two this week, I hope he will not have another, he has grown yellow already. Mr. Seale came back today, he brought some flour and some skins for Father, he had been gone a month. He brought me a letter from Mrs. Morancy, a letter so affectionate and so like herself that it was extremely grateful to me. It is in answer to one I sent her by Mr. Barclay the other day; he called here a few moments, was looking remarkably well, he is very gentlemanly in appearance, with a face very attractive to me, and one which is unlike any I ever saw before. The weather has been disagreeable for several days, dark and cold. Willie is at home this evening, has just returned. I suppose his arrangements for his substitute are quite finished now, I never speak of it, and cannot think of it without pain, which is so much the worse that it has none of the softness of sadness, but rather a little mingling of self reproach that I should ever seem to lack affection for a brother who has always been to me the kindest and dearest that a brother can be.

Monday, Dec. 21st. 1863.

I have just read the closing sentences of Lamartine’s “Voyage en Orient" and closed the book with a feeling like that of parting from some old friend, how beautiful that book is, and how much pleasure has given to me, To me it has been a glimpse into new and unknown world, full of romantic life and beauty; it is not a description of travels that I have read, I seem to have lived with the traveller, sharing his thoughts, his emotions and his beautiful and grand pictures.

I had a letter from Miss Kate Stone Saturday, it contains the sad news of her brother’s death from a hurt received by his horse, this is the second brother she has lost in the army, there is now but one remaining, and he is just recovering from severe wounds; how much sorrow everywhere. How different our feelings now from those this season brings in time of peace. A shadow of evil to come hangs over us, Father’s face is sad and anxious, he has heard something lately that leads him to fear that the Yankees will make Monroe a permanent post; he looks forward to losing all his property, and perhaps a worse fate. I should be willing to endure poverty, willing to labour for my bread all the rest of my life if I could see my country in peace, see the South take her place among nations and be able to say with grateful pride, I am a southerner, this is the end I hope and pray for and I believe it will come, though now our sky looks so dark; our foes within, our inefficient and false officers, and the lukewarmness of the people are what we have contend with, these are foes far more powerful than the Yankees, and when I think of the corruption in our midst and see no genius powerful enough to crush it, I fear that we shall gain our liberty only after years of war and perhaps anarchy.

There is to be a ball in Monroe Christmas eve, I have received an invitation and yesterday Mrs. McGuire sent to urge me to go with her, but I am far from wishing to participate in such gaiety. I shall go to Mrs. DeLary’s concert because Miss Mary is to play and sing, otherwise I should not think of it. It is to be on next Monday night. I am not very well the last few days, am nervous and weak, I have been having some teeth filled, and my ill feelings are perhaps owing partly to that.

Mrs. Brantley and Miss Randall, a relative of hers, spent the night with us Thursday. The weather has been very cold for several days, but is warmer now, the ground did not thaw for three days; we had some ice cream Sunday, frozen with ice from the little stream in the grove.

Wednesday, Dec. 30th. 1863.

Christmas has come, and the holidays are almost gone before I have written a word about it. The day before Christmas was busy cooking all day, and this made us feel a little like Christmas was coming. Father and Miss Mary went into town that day and brought out some candy and pecans with which we filled the children’s stockings, they woke up before day in the morning and were highly delighted, John was full of surprise, for he cannot remember last Christmas, and if he could, we had no “Santa Claus” then; we had our stockings hung up and candy in them, and Miss Mary scratched the chimney bask in imitation of Santa Claus’ carriage wheel tracks, Georgie came in our room in the morning and related with a wondering air how he could see the marks of Santa Claus feet on Mother’s room chimney, we then showed him ours and he was strengthened in his belief, After they were dressed, the children ran out to distribute candy among the little negroes and before breakfast all had disappeared. When our late breakfast was over, we made egg nogg for the negroes, who gathered round the back door highly delighted, there were many of them, for most of the railroad negroes were here. When they had all had a glass round, Mother filled her great punch bowl again for the “white folks,” and we sent for Dr. McDonough to come and take a glass, he was obliged to go back again though, to attend to his sick. Dr. Compton had gone in to a ball given on Christmas eve by the D. D. Dy, a company of young ladles in town, he had insisted on Dr. McDonough’s taking Christmas day as a holiday, but instead of coming out to take his place, as he had promised, he left Dr. McDonough all alone, did not come out until the day after Christmas. Dr. McDonough came over again about two to dinner, but after sitting an hour or more was obliged to return to see a sick man, and did not get back until dinner had come on, and then he had to leave soon after, so that I am afraid our invitation, which was meant to give him pleasure, was more of an inconvenience.

We had singing and playing for an hour or more in the evening, and then closed the day with a few pages from Homer’s Iliad. Mr. Haddrick, one of our couriers, came down to hear the music, and seemed somewhat cheered, he looked low spirited before, thinking about home I suppose; he is a very young man, quite modest and well mannered, at first he was very shy but is getting a little acquainted now, he never saw a piano before he came here, and ours is quite a curiosity to him.

Altogether, our Christmas day was better than the last, principally because Father was here, but yet it was by no means merry, as it could not be now when our prospects are so uncertain and gloomy. The next two days passed quietly enough, Monday we went in to the concert at Mrs. DeLary’s. General Mouton’s command, from lower Louisiana, has just arrived, and part of it was crossing at Trenton, so we were obliged to drive down to the Monroe Ferry. This is dreadfully conducted, they take almost an hour to make a trip and the landing is so bad that to get out they have to “jump the wagons,” this is simply making the mules spring out of the flat a few paces from the beach, and bring the wagon down after them, rather a perilous thing. The Lieutenant on guard at the Ferry was a Texan, he was very kind and polite to us and let us go over as soon as possible, but now comes the catastrophe; they had fixed the landing as well as they could but it was still dreadful. Here all came out of the carriage but Mother and Uncle Jim started to drive on, the mules gave a spring into the flat, and before we could speak, the fore wheels had come against it with a dreadful jar and, the springs breaking, the carriage came crashing down. The mules were so gentle they did not stir, and Mother got out safely, but both the front springs were snapped and the axle sprung; we were thankful Mother was not hurt for it was indeed a narrow escape. Everybody said they knew it would be so, except our kind Texan, who said he thought it was dangerous.

Willie had accompanied us on horseback, but he was obliged to turn and drive the mules home. I don’t know how we should have done but for our kind Lieutenant who went over in the flat with us and assisted us out, indeed all the soldiers were very good and seemed sorry instead of glad at our accident. We laboured up the hill completely loaded with packages. Rose had her blankets and a carpet bag to carry, I had a shawl and bundle and Mother a box, we parted from Miss May at the top of the hill, for she was going to Mrs. McGuire’s. The street was crowded with soldiers and our walk was anything but agreeable. We got to Mrs. Stevens just in time to make ourselves presentable for the concert; and then we were rather late and our seats were in the furthest corner of the room, it happened very pleasantly though for us, for we were seated by a window, & in the alcove between it and the fireplace there was quite a group of gentlemen, one opened a conversation with Mrs. Kenison and Mary, in that incidental manner which so often happens, there was another one with him, a Georgian, and we found some mutual acquaintances so that we soon became quite social, when we had been there some time, Lieutenant Flournoy came through the window behind us and got a seat between me and my next neighbour against the wall. I was very much surprised to see him, and rather pleasantly so, for I have a sort of liking for him though rather of a negative kind. Then Mrs. Kenison’s brother-in-law, a good looking young Creole, found his way through the window to our corner, and so in spite of the dull music, we managed to pass a tolerable evening, if I had had no one else but Lieut. Flournoy I might have been rocked to sleep by his gallant nonsense, a repetition of how he missed ladies’ society and how much he enjoyed it, and a lot of other things not more exciting, but the gentlemen behind were very pleasant. Lieut. Flournoy introduced them, the first as Lieut. Barrett, and the Georgian as Capt. Somebody, I could not catch the name. If it had not been for the carriage being broken I should have passed quite a pleasant evening. The charades were quite interesting, and Miss Mary was complimented in our corner several times. Mrs. Stevens and May both pressed me to stay until after New Years there, and I should have liked it, but wanted to come home to see the negro’s frolic last night. Father had the partition in our long shanty taken down and they danced there, as they did last year, they commenced dancing about nine o’clock. Dr. McDonough came over in the evening and after we had given him some music we all went out to see the dancing. About eleven we grew tired and came away, but when we woke up this morning the fiddle was still going but the ranks of the dancers were considerably thinned. Rose made her debut last night, she was dressed out in a flounced white skirt, a pink tarlton body with a gold breast pin and a wreath of white roses, she danced every set I believe until morning. Annie was dressed in a low necked white muslin and she looked better than Rose, I think. I haven’t done anything today, of course we had breakfast late, and then Dr. McDonough came over, and a Lady, wife of a sick man at the hospital slept here last night, and her brother-in-law came over for her and wanted to hear some music and then I had some little things to put in order, so that it was quite late before I sat down to my journal, and I have had so many interruptions. A Capt. Fouet came here to see Father on business this morning and sat until dinner and he asked for some music and Father sent for me so I was beguiled into the parlour before I knew he was there and could not get out again till dinner time and now it is so late that I am afraid I cannot write to Mrs. Morancy as I intended, it is a pleasant evening to write, a real rainy evening.

Thursday, Dec. 31st. 1863.

The last night of the old year, today has been dark, cold and snowy, and the wind has blown and whistled all day long, but it is stilled now, and the quiet stars shine brightly in the cloudless sky; tomorrow’s sun will rise upon a new year. And in this year if it please God to help me, I will try to do better, I will set to work earnestly and perseveringly to cure the great faults which I know I have and to find out those that are now hidden. What is in store for us in the coming year we cannot tell, but from all we see now it will doubtless be fraught with sorrow and trial, the next new years eve we may be homeless, but whatever happens I want to have a firm faith in God, in my Redeemer, then all else will be easier to bear. Goodbye then, Old Year, I will not complain at the lot thou hast brought to me, for though I sorrow indeed that I have not better improved them, the cares, the disappointments thou hast brought have been good for me, it saddens me to think how little real progress I have made, and I feel anxious for my resolutions for the future, it is so hard to be persevering in my efforts, in moments of humiliation and enthusiasm I feel able to do and bear many things, but the little, daily trials of temper which come to everyone find me wanting, and here as everywhere I find the demon of selfishness starting up against my better and holier nature. Oh how often does my weakness allow it to triumph, how often I forget or neglect my only refuge.

Friday, Jan. 1st. 1864.

Oh what a cold new years day, everything was frozen this morning, and is still frozen, the thermometer this morning stood at only eight deg. above zero; I think it was colder this morning than I ever felt it before. I was busy thawing all the necessaries for washing about half an hour after I arose, and it took us so long to warm and dress that it was nine o’clock when we eat breakfast, a pretty beginning of the year but it was so cold, and wonderful to tell, the old clock was so cold it could hardly strike, it was amusing to hear it labouring out the strokes, at first we thought it had stopped but after an interval of at least a minute it struck again and so continued through the whole nine.

But I was so sorry in going into the parlour after breakfast to find Mother’s pretty, chaste little parian marble pitcher broken, I use it to put violets in, and day before yesterday I gathered a large and beautiful bunch and filled it with them, last night the water froze into a solid mass and split the pitcher into three pieces all held together by the ice, the same happened to my little vase, only it was worse broken. I am so sorry about Mother’s pitcher, it was a gift from Aunt Mary and she prized it highly, and it was all owing to my carelessness in not thinking to pour out the water. We took the ice (shaped like the pitcher) and put it on a saucer on the what not and although there has been a large fire in the parlour since early this morning, it has not even softened. The ink I am writing with has just been thawed out. But I must stop writing and go to bed, I am afraid I shall take cold sitting up in my dressing gown.

Monday, Jan. 4th. 1864.

My real New Year commenced this morning, not very auspiciously either, we did not get along quite smoothly in school, I am in hopes we shall do better tomorrow.

I commenced learning John his letters this morning, the dear little fellow was so good and so funny that he set us all to laughing. Saturday it was so cold we could hardly do anything but keep warm, the thermometer stood at sixteen in the morning, but rose to 32� in the evening; but Sunday was so rainy and cloudy that it was more disagreeable than the two cold days. Willie went down to Millhaven Saturday, returned Sunday morning, he said when he reached Millhaven his feet were frozen to his stirrups; he passed over ice strong enough to bear up him and his horse.

Mr. Craig was here Saturday morning, said such cold had not been known since 1856, one of the steam pipes of his mill was burst by the frost. Our poor little plants have fared illy, this cold has finished what the last began, the cactus is killed down to the roots, and so is the wax plant, and all the rest. Oh for Spring to awaken life once more, to bid our dead plants to revive, and infuse new life into us as well as the vegetable world. Today has been dark and gloomy, and the atmosphere is very raw. I commenced reviewing my latin lessons today, indeed it can hardly be called a review, for I have forgotten most of what I learned. Commenced reading Gibbon’s Rome abridged New Year’s night, we take it instead of the original, though it is so much abridged that it hardly resembles it except in the bare facts. Dr. McDonough spent part of the morning and dined with us yesterday, said he was very much exhausted from watching and care, had slept very little for three or four nights; they have an insufficient supply of bed clothing at the hospital, and he was obliged to keep up large fires all night, and even then they suffered from cold during those intensely cold nights, they had used seven large wagon loads of wood since the Tuesday after Christmas, but this will appear probable when one knows that they keep up six fires day and night.

I am sorry for poor Dr. McDonough, he is of a very sensitive temperament, and the sight of so much suffering must be very painful to him.

There was a most horrid murder perpetrated in Monroe the other day; Mr. Baker’s little son, only seven years old was riding through town attended by a negro boy when he was shot through the head and instantly killed, by a Mexican, in the Texas regiment. The man was delivered over to the civil authorities and his trial is to take place today, from what we can hear, he assigns no motive for this atrocious murder. Dr. McDonough says he heard that the Mexican said he had sworn to kill the first child or woman he met, but this seems to me not worthy of consideration as a motive, for he must have met women and children before, when he had been in Monroe several days. The little boy belongs to an afflicted family, his Mother and a brother died very suddenly last summer, and now the only remaining son is taken by such a dreadful death. The shock almost killed his Grand mother, his Father was absent at the time.

Wednesday, Jan. 6th.

The cold weather still continues, we have not had such a long “bad spell of weather” this winter, this has been the pleasantest day, but that is not by any means pleasant, for this morning the thermometer stood at 20�, and I don’t think it is much, if any, warmer now, it has been freezing all day in my dressing room. Yesterday was a dreadful day (as for weather I mean) cold and dark and even a little snowy in the morning, though but few flakes fell. I felt quite happy though, for we had such a pleasant morning in the school room, not a single fit of bad temper and every lesson perfect; I commenced keeping an account of lessons and behaviour and was so glad to be able to give all a perfect mark; today it was very well indeed, but Loring was a little impatient and George quite refractory in his first lesson, though very good in his last, so I was obliged to give them imperfect marks. I was very sorry on Lory’s account, for I think he tried to do well, but it is very hard for him to control his temper, he did not like it at all, but I thought if I did not distribute the marks perfectly justly they would soon lose their value. Dr. Dabbs spent the night with us Monday, he came out quite early in the evening. Oh such a man as he is, so tall and large, he is a head taller than Father, and large in proportion, with heavy beard and moustachios now quite iron gray, the children looked upon with something like awe; I like him quite well, though such a dimunitive being as I ought scarcely to venture such familiarity; he has recently returned from Texas and we were interested in his account of it. He says Washington Co. is quite thickly settled with substantial and cultivated people, and that it is a very pleasant country, his account of San Antonio was most interesting to me, he describes it as an old, irregularly built town, with most of the buildings Mexican fashion, the situation he says is picturesque and beautiful. The two rivers take their rise in two springs, each more than twenty feet deep and so clear that one can see the bottom, there are many similar springs in that part of Texas but the water is limestone and not good to drink. Oh, how I should like to go there, it must be so beautiful and so strange.

Dr. McDonough spent last evening with us, he has an assistant now at the hospital, and consequently his labours are somewhat lightened, he seemed in very good spirits last night and the evening was quite pleasant. There is the supper bell and I must go, I have already written more than I intended. I hope we shall have a fine day tomorrow, the glow of the sunset has not yet faded away in the west; but it is so cold, my hands are quite numb, though I am only a little way from the fire.

Saturday night, Jan. 8th.

The cold still continues unabated since I wrote last, though we have had so many sunshiny days. I don’t remember such another continuous, clear cold in my short experience. The other night we were quite surprised by a visit from Dr. Cummings; Miss Mary, Willie and I were in the parlour, Miss Mary was reading to Lory and Willie and I were playing (how dignified) when some one rapped on the door. I thought it was Eva come to “fool” us and threw the door wide open with a “come in, Miss Eva,” when I could see in the darkness I discovered Dr. McDonough and was still more surprised when he said “Dr. Cummings, Miss Sarah” and then only I perceived his large figure looking up in the background. We had quite a pleasant evening, and Dr. Cummings at Mother’s invitation spent the night with us, as they were very much crowded at the hospital; we also had a Texas soldier to spend the night with us.

Miss Mary went to town today to see Mrs. DeLary, she has concluded not to take any more lessons for the present, as the roads and weather are so bad. They have a steam ferry at Trenton now, it is managed by a detail of soldiers Miss Mary said they were very polite to her, and the landing was very good indeed. I must hurry and get to bed for it is quite late, Willie returned from Millhaven today. I have been busy all day mending and doing other little things, among others bound a shoe for Miss Mary, the first I ever did. Alonzo is making her some out of deer skin which I think will be a very good shape. Father made the last.

Thursday, Jan. 14th. 1864.

I hoped this morning that we should at last have a fine day, when I rose the sun was not yet up, but the blue sky was streaked with beautiful, rosy clouds, and the golden glow on the horizon showed the ground all whitened with a heavy frost, the sun rose brilliantly and the early morning was glorious with bright sunshine and the fresh wind, but about 12 o’clock the sky was suddenly overcast, and since then we have not seen the sun. I was so exhilirated by the bright weather this morning, it was so pleasant after the gloomy days we have had, until this morning the sun has not shone since Sunday, there was a sudden thaw and a warm rain Sunday night, and as the frozen ground beneath would not let it sink in, the rain lay on the surface for more than a day, our yard looked more like a pig pen than any thing else; and is still very wet. Oh for Spring! I sigh for it every day, if the war lasts another year I shall desire never to see any more wintry weather, last winter and this have been so sad to me.

John and George have both caught very bad colds, and George was quite sick yesterday and not well enough to come to school today. Loring also has a bad cold. Lory has improved very much since New Years, has not had but one of his fits of anger, though temper has several times been severely tried, the other day he was quite provoked about his geography lesson, and even threatened to run away, but he grew ashamed and could not help smiling when I told him he was behaving just as George had done that very morning, and reminded him how silly he had thought George looked. John is progressing in his learning, is very proud to “say his school” as he calls it, he already knows five letters quite perfectly; I hope he will continue to like it as well when he is more advanced in his studies. I have commenced giving music lessons to Miss May and Eva, I am afraid I cannot be of much use to them, but may at least help to keep up their practice.

There has been a new conscript law passed calling out all men from sixteen to fifty five; at least so it is reported; this will take Father. I don’t know what we shall do without either him or Willie, it would not be so bad if it were not probable that the Yankees will be here this winter; and I would not so much mind doing without them both if they were on the other side of the river.

Willie is preparing to join his company, (the Tensas cavalry, under Harrison) now, and will leave as soon as he is ready; he did not get a substitute, partly because on thinking it over he thought it not best, and partly because he could, there was some trouble about the final ratification of the papers, and we hear that there are to be no more substitutes, those that have them are to have their money restored by government and be called out themselves. Some rumour is heard of a proposition of peace from the Federal government, but I am afraid it is only a rumour. Oh if it were peace, honourable peace, how rejoiced we should all be.

Miss Mary and Eva met Mr. Bowmar Barr in the road yesterday evening, he said his Mother and sisters sent their love but had not time to write; Jenny had been very ill with the measles, was just a little better when he left. Oh how thankful I am that she was spared to her poor afflicted Mother. Mr. Barr promised to stop when he came back and I shall write by him. I must now write longer now, else I will have none of the evening left for reading. I have not done much towards my months reading yet, the days are so short and there is so much to do in them. We keep on steadily with our “Rome” it is true, read every night except those occassional ones when Dr. McDonough comes over, we have no other visitor. I have just read Lamartine’s “Politique rationelle” and am as much pleased with it as with the travels, there are some things in it that seem like echoes of my own thoughts.

The sunshine is gleaming through the window, and I hope it is the fair promise of a fair day tomorrow.

Monday, Jan. 18th.

I have not been able to write for several days past, my usual time, just before supper, when it gets too dark to work or read has been otherwise occupied; I have been arranging Valeria’s letters into little books so that I can read them easily, I find it some little comfort to read them over and over again, though sometimes they contain sentences that sadden me by bringing the past too vividly to my mind. I have been busy since Friday afternoon sewing a palmetto hat for Mrs. Temple, of course I could not work at it this morning as we were in school, but I have been busy all this evening, and am discouraged tonight at the ill success of my day’s work. I believe I will take it out and sew it over again. Yesterday I could hardly sit up I felt so weak and ill, and today I have a great soreness in my chest when I cough, as I do quite often; tired and sick and ill tempered! a bad picture indeed, it fades however in this quiet room, bright with firelight, and in the view of the flushed western sky, the reflection of the bright sun that has shone all day, and which now promises a fine day tomorrow. Yesterday was dull and rainy, and the ground is, of course, very wet, this has kept the three little boys in the house all day, and a sad trial it has been to them, they have all three dreadful colds. Loring and George could not go to school Friday and were hardly able to do so today, I was quite uneasy about Loring this morning. Mother is quite busy making some clothes for Willie, Miss Mary is making him a cap, Father is making a pair of bits for his new horse, I am doing nothing, but am going to sew some on his clothes as soon as I finish this hat. Willie has got such a fine spirited horse; poor Brandon though is gone, Willie “swapped” him besides paying eight hundred dollars boot; we were so sorry Brandon had to go, but Willie said he could not stand hard service. We have named the new horse Caesar, he is what is usually called cream coloured, or clay bank, with a white mane and tail, is tall and large but beautifully shaped, not at all heavy; his face and ears have such sensitive, spirited expression; indeed he is very high mettled, his old name was “Wild Bill” and he had been led to water for a month past, every body was afraid to ride him as he had once thrown and twice severely kicked the same man, though this was when the man was intoxicated, and treated the horse in a brutish manner. Willie wants to leave next week but will hardly be ready as the tailor has one suit of clothes still to cut; he takes his groom “Yellow Antony” with him, a sober and quiet man who has attended Willie’s a horse ever since we started to Georgia, and who is very anxious to go to “the war” with him.

Last week Col. Harrison sent here to ask Mother to take Mrs. Harrison until he returned from the swamp, she is coming on from Texas to see her husband, has not yet arrived. A Capt. Bondurin afterward requested the same favour for his wife, but of course we could not take her as we have but one finished room besides Willie’s, which is also the schoolroom.

Tuesday, Jan. 19th.

I read last night in the “Diary of Mad. D’Arblay,” “Dr. Johnston says an hour may be tedious but cannot be long,” this day certainly has not been long, but it has been tedious. Our colds were all so bad that we did not have school. Miss Mary was so ill last night that I was quite anxious about her, but she was better this morning, and is still improving, my cold is very bad, though better than hers. I have been working on Mrs. Temple’s hat all day, and it is now finished, all except one round which I shall do tonight, it is now a very good shape, and I am very glad indeed that I ripped it. Father shod “Caesar” this evening, I was, of course, out to see it; the horse is much better than I expected. Father is very tired tonight, no wonder, he is not well and has been working hard all day. The sun shone out brightly today, and I hope the roads will soon be good enough for us to take a ride. I have been waiting so long for good weather.

Saturday, Jan. 23rd. 1864.

It is evening, the close of a bright, beautiful day, we have had delightful weather for some days, today it was very pleasant by an open window, it has been such a pleasant day to me too, but I must go back a little to explain it. In my last journal I said that we were all too sick to have school, — the children continued so for some days. Thursday morning Father asked me to go into Monroe with him, I was glad to go, for I knew it would be a great pleasure, and I had no particular work to do and no school to keep me. The ride was so delightful, more so from the bad weather we have had, and from my long confinement in the house, the sky looked so blue, the air was so fresh and sweet, and the birds sang blithely in the clear sunshine. I almost expected to smell the jasmine and the honeysuckle; and then I enjoyed so much to be riding with Father, I found Mrs. Stevens and Mary both at home and we spent a very pleasant day indeed. Father came up to dinner; in the afternoon Mrs. Stevens said if I would stay all night Mary might come out with me the next day, with such a promise of course I stayed; Miss Sarah Garrett came in with her Mother in the afternoon, she sang some for us, “Lorena,” and “Lorena’s reply,” “Paul Vivian,” “Rock me to sleep,” and “All quiet along the Potomac tonight,” were the songs she sang, all beautiful. I have long known and loved the poem (for it is a poem) “rock me sleep,” but never heard it sung before. After they went away Mary and I and little Louis took a ride up the river in the carriage, it was so pleasant, we had a quiet evening at home. In the morning we went up to Mrs. Dr. McGuire’s, found her and Mrs. Kenison quite well and enjoyed our hour very much.

On our return we found Mrs. Lemay and Miss Eliza Baker with Mrs. Stevens, Miss Eliza Baker has such a lovely face, such a pensive, sweet expression that I like to look at her, she came to see me and asked me to come to their house when I came in town, I certainly shall do so. We invited Mrs. Kenison to come out with us and after dinner we bade Mrs. Stevens good bye and drove up for her, we went in the parlour to wait until Mrs. Kenison “assumed” her cloak and hat; and there we saw Miss Snow, a young lady who creates quite a stir in the social circles of Monroe, and who is said to have been the belle of a soir�e at Mrs. Sudeling’s the other night, though to me she seems to have no pretensions towards belleship, I can scarcely judge of her attractive qualities however, as I only saw her about five minutes. It was more than an hour before we landed on this side the river, the ferry was so slow, but at last we landed safely and met Willie on the bank, he was riding his new pony, a stout serviceable-looking grey, which he bought for Antony to ride, we teased him a good dealabout his horse; May named it Pompey, and I think everybody calls it so by this time. Caesar, Pompey and Antony, a distinguished trio indeed.

This morning the sun rose bright and clear and we congratulated each other on the pleasant morning and the pleasant ride we had in perspective, and pleasant it proved to be, our horses all went so well, Mollie did not limp at all and Railroad paced like the wind. Mrs. Kenison and Mary had quite an exciting race coming home, but Railroad paced far ahead of Pompey’s gallop. I was afraid of hurting Mollie’s leg and came on behind, so I had a full prospect. We rode up via Mrs. Phillip’s high hill and had a fine view of the valley and the woods, it was very pretty, though the fields were brown and bare and there was no green except that of the ever bright pine.

When we came home it was eleven o’clock and we rested and looked at pictures and talked or read until dinner. Mother was not able to come to dinner, she has taken a dreadful cold like the rest of us and it gave her such a head ache that she went to bed before dinner and has not been up since. May and Mrs. Kenison went away soon after dinner, I was so sorry they could not stay longer, we had enjoyed their short visit so much.

Father finished Willie’s bridle yesterday, it is such a nice one and the bits are so bright and pretty; Willie’s last coat came from the tailor’s today; it is only cut; as soon as it is made he will be ready. Oh, how sadly those words sound they make my heart sink within me, but this is not the feeling I must cherish.

Wednesday, Jan. 27th

We have had no school this week, Miss Mary has been to Dr. Temple every morning, Eva has been sick and Mother indisposed, and we have been getting Willie ready, everything is done now, tomorrow he leaves us for camp, oh if it were a different service, an honourable service he is going to enter upon, but to be here, inactive in camp, with no prospect of usefulness, how often I say if we had only got to Georgia; but I am glad Willie did not get a substitute.

Today we were surprised by the sight of a strange carriage driving into the yard, and more surprised when we found that the occupant was not Mrs. Harrison but Mrs. Bondurant; her husband said he had gone to Minden unexpectedly and his wife was so anxious to come down that he thought he would try and get us to take her until he could find a place for her in Monroe, Mother could hardly refuse and so she came in, I don’t like her much as yet, but my opinions so often change that I attach little consequence to first impressions.

Dr. McDonough came over yesterday evening, brought his successor at the hospital, Dr. Furness. Dr. McDonough is to go up to Mt. Lebanon with Dr. Powell. I shall be sorry for him to go, am just beginning to get well acquainted with him, and he improves on acquaintance; this Dr. Furness is a young man, I expect quite pleasant too, but cannot form an opinion from one evening when I only saw his face by candle-light. Mrs. Bondurant spoke of him today, said she thought him fine looking, he is large and well formed but I thought his face very ugly.

The fine weather still continues, today it is almost as warm as summer. I have been setting out some jessamines, am so in hopes they will live, though I am afraid they are planted too late. Miss May has been braiding a hat for Dr. McDonough and I am now sewing it, have it almost finished.

Jan. 30th. / ’64.

Saturday night. Willie left Thursday the 28th. as he had intended for the camp but not to stay; he was all ready equipped as a cavalry man. Father had soldered an old canteen and tin cup for him, his clothes were finished and ready to put on and Mother was making a wallet for Antony; when Capt. Oliver the quarter master came up to the door, he wanted to get Father’s and the railroad negroes and teams to employ in gathering corn for the government. Father told him that he could not have them unless Willie was in charge of them, and Capt. Oliver then made arrangements to detach Willie to superintend the gathering of some corn at Millhaven. This Willie thinks will occupy him about a month during which time he will be comfortably lodged and very well fed, and above all will be doing something useful and honourable, he went to Millhaven yesterday morning, came back today, has made arrangements to commence work on Monday.

Mrs. Bondurant left today, has procured a room at Mr. Oliver’s old place, now occupied by a Capt. Marble, a refugee, it is nearer the camp and therefore more convenient than this.

Mr. Haddicks, the courier who went home, returned yesterday. The weather has continued fair and warm till today, it commenced to rain this morning and still rains. I have been writing letters to Aunt Mary and Grandma today, and telling them about our journey has made me think of it more than usual; how strange it seems for us to be sitting quietly in this old place after so many and such various plans for moving. I also wrote to Miss Gussie Harrison again to try and find out where the Ridgills are, it seems a very slight ground for hope to find them out, but even the slight hope cheers me. I think the man by whom John Davis sent my other letter fell into the hands of the Yankees; I am very much afraid none of these letters will reach the destination. I am obliged to take the chance of sending them by a chance traveller, and do not know even when I shall have this opportunity.

Feb. 2nd. 1864. Tuesday.

This is such a beautiful day, “so cool, so clear, so bright,” after we had finished school this morning I had an hour or more before, for as Miss Mary went to the dentist we finished the studies quite soon, and I spent the time out in the garden where Father is pruning the fruit trees and Uncle Jim is planting seed. It made me feel so happy to be out in the clear warm sunshine, with the deep blue sky above and the wind sighing so sweetly through the pines whence it came with fresh, warm breath to my cheek, everything looks so happy and lovely; the children behaved well in school too, all three of them had perfect lessons and I was very much pleased with Eva for overcoming a lesson in intellectual arithmetic, a study very difficult and very distasteful to her, this evening too I am having a very pleasant reading time, have spent an hour or two with Humbolt and am going now to enjoy Lamartine, it is the first afternoon I have devoted to reading for some time. Yesterday evening I spent in having Annie put up a little fence around our “bower” in the wood and in planting some violets and periwinkle there. I was very much tired by it, I take so little exercise that I cannot endure much. Dr. McDonough came over in the evening. I traced out some of my old friends, the winter constellations, last night, I think I never saw the stars more beautifully bright. Willie left for his duties at Millhaven Monday, we shall not see him again I suppose until Saturday. Drs. McDonough and Furness dined here Sunday and spent nearly all the afternoon. I think I should like Dr. Furness very well, he appeared quite pleasant and sensible. Dr. McDonough has grown to be one of my favorites, there seem to be such much undercurrent in him. The other night after we had sung “Annie Laurie” he got to speaking about the song and incidents connected with it. Miss Mary and he and I were sitting rather apart and as he always speaks in a very low voice the conversation of the others flowed by us; he told us a story of a young man who had loved and lost a beautiful young girl and was left by his misfortune in a state of deep dejection. One night his friends persuaded him to a party where he was treated with the utmost respect and every effort made to draw him from his deep dejection, as he was a fine musician he was led to the piano and the most respectful silence prevailed while he sadly struck a few chords and then wandered in a beautiful symphony, at length he commenced to sing “Annie Laurie” with unexampled pathos and sweetness, when he breathed the concluding words “for bonnie Annie Laurie I’d lay me down and die” his voice died away but he remained at the piano, his friends waited in silence for some time thinking that he was indulging in one of his frequent reveries on his lost love, but seeing that he moved not, they approached to arouse him, but he was dead. It is a beautiful story of tender love and affected me very much. Dr. McDonough’s words faltered more and more towards the end and I saw his soft dark eyes were full of tears; they say he was engaged to a young lady, but just as they were about to be married she was drowned accidentally. If this be so, how beautiful in him to remain constant to that one lost love so many years; for he is now quite grey headed.

Saturday, Jan. 6th. 1864.

What has happened since I wrote last, it will take me some time to think of everything and would take longer to write it if I were honest enough or had time enough to tell of all the varied shadows dark and bright which have passed over me. The weather has been delightful and I have spent several hours every day in the garden, where Father and one or two Negroes have been busy all the week, sowing seed, clearing off beds and planting grape vines, the garden has assumed quite a different aspect already, and when the vegetables come up and the trees commence to bloom it will be a pretty sight, the buds are swelling on the peach trees, some of them begin to show a delicate pink tinge peeping out here and there. Wednesday evening just as Father and I and Mr. Haddicks were coming out of the garden we saw a buggy driving into the yard, and to our surprise we recognized Mr. Gordon, he had been delayed in Texas by the bad weather; he said the cold there was beyond anything he ever felt, the snow was in some drifts ten feet deep and he had fifteen oxen frozen dead on the prairie in one night, the two negroes who were with them barely kept from it, they could have no fire, the wind was so high it blew out the fire even in log heaps. Mr. Gordon has brought his negroes and cattle back here, says it is so hard to live in Texas, in many places he was obliged to pay ten dollars a bushel for corn, though in other parts of the state it was very plenty and much cheaper; many persons who have great quantities will only sell at those advanced prices on account of the depreciation of Confederate money, and the danger of having the remainder of their corn pressed and thus being left without any.

Mr. Gordon stayed untill this morning when he left for Millhaven. Yesterday morning he came into the parlour while I was giving Eva her music lesson and when I had finished he commenced talking about the Terrys and told me that Temp (the oldest son) was now in Texas, a hospital surgeon, and he went on to say that if I wished to write to any of them, he, Mr. Gordon, could send a letter for me, through a Dr. Haydn, a friend of his, who had offered to send any letters across the river for him by the couriers I said I did not care to write to Jane, but that I wished very much to write to a friend of mine on the other side. I was chary of mentioning her, somehow I don’t like to speak her name too often to anybody, but especially to a stranger or one whom I like so little as I did Mr. Gordon, but he was, or appeared so willing to oblige me that by degrees I spoke more of my anxiety to hear from her, and of my ignorance of her present residence, he asked me if I knew no one that I could write to for information, and when I answered that they had been refugees and had only lived in Hazelhurst a short time he said he knew a Mr. Cassidy from whom he thought he might learn where they had gone, and that he would write and see; I should be so much obliged to him if he could find out, I scarcely dare to think of that happy possibility though, my heart throbs when I think how delightful it would be to hear from them, but may be the tidings will be sad, God grant they may be all living, at least.

Wednesday night Dr. McDonough came over, we were glad to see him, as we always are, and the evening was very pleasant, he was so much interested in Annie Laurie that he overcame his bashfulness sufficiently to sing it with Miss Mary, in order to show her how to repeat the last line. I like his voice very much, it is a great improvement to the song, gives it so much more fervor and strength.

Yesterday afternoon Miss Mary and I went down to see Mrs. Bondurant and Mrs. Marble, found them both at home. Mrs. Marble seems a very quiet pleasant little lady, has been there ever since November and no one had ever been to see her, she was quite lonely, having no children, and husband at the camp all day, we did not know she was there, or should certainly have been to see her before.

Our ride was quite a laughable one, we had a lazy mule in the buggy on whom all Loring’s whipping and Jerking produced not the slightest effect except to make her jump out to one side of the road when it required all his strength to turn her in again. Miss Mary found it so tiresome that she left Lory and I in the buggy alone and walked quite a distance, at one time Lory got so tired and angry that he jumped out of the buggy and holding the reins in his hands lashed old Carry until she struck up a sharp trot, and he was obliged to run to keep up with her. When he thought he had whipped her enough to ensure better behaviour he got into the buggy again, neither Miss Mary nor I could speak we were so convulsed with laughter, and a negro man who came up during the performance was very much amused. Notwithstanding all Lory’s efforts the old mule checkened her trot to a slow walk as soon as he came back into the buggy. Lory exclaimed in vexation, “Oh Sister Sarah, if I wasn’t afraid some white person would come along the road I would get out and run Carry again but it looks so funny I won’t do it,” he is very much afraid of ridicule and became quite angry with Miss Mary and I when we first left home because we could not help laughing at him and the mule.

We were joyfully surprised by Willie’s return Friday night, we were the more surprised as he had just sent us word that he should not come until late in the night or until the next day. He sent us by Eldridge some geese and some butter, the last made from the milk of his cows down at Millhaven.

Monday, Feb. 8th. 1864.

Willie left us again this morning. We had a very pleasant morning in school, the children all did very well, Loring was a little provoked about his spelling but soon overcame it. It has been a long time since he has been in one of his violent passions with me. Dr. McDonough and Dr. Furness came over yesterday after supper. Only stayed a short time. Dr. Furness twisted and turned about as if he were very uncomfortable, and I could scarcely keep my eyes open I was so sleepy, and Dr. McDonough had not much to say, so the evening was not very pleasant. There was a very sick man over at the Hospital so they could not stay long, Mr. Haddicks said they expected him to die today, poor fellow! how I pity them, it must be so hard to die in a hospital. I must stop writing from necessity, my ink is all used up, it is some Dr. McD. gave me, and I have no more fit to use. I am ashamed to ask for any more, though the Dr. is so kind he would not hesitate to give it to me.

Wednesday, Feb. 10th.

The other evening after I finished writing, I walked out in the hall and saw the children all in the grove, playing so merrily that I went out to join them, we played “puss in the corner” until we were tired and then as we were dancing around singing “Sweet beans and barley grows” Miss May saw a buggy coming out, and telling the rest of us we all stopped to wonder who it could be, it was Mr. Gordon, come to see about his teams crossing the river, the teams camped here that night and Mr. Gordon left with them the next morning.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the funeral of Mr. Moore, Mrs. Lidwell’s brother, who died Monday evening. The funeral was very small, there were but three or four besides the mourners; Miss Mary and I did not go to the house as we had no conveyance (our buggy and ambulance were used by the family) but we walked to the grave which is only about a mile and a half from here. George and Loring went with us, we arrived about two hours before the funeral procession came and the time of quiet waiting prepared me to feel the sadness of the scene, the burying ground has no enclosure of any sort around it, there are a few graves, each surround either by a neat paling, a rude rail fence or a little sort of roof built over it, the dead leaves lie thickly over the ground, over head the pines sigh a low requiem which alone breaks the stillness and takes away from the desolation of this rude and lonely spot, in sight is the rude Church blackened by time and now all fallen into ruin. I was deeply touched by the sight of some sweet violets blooming on a mosey grave. Poor Miss Anna Moore, the tears came in spite of my efforts to restrain them when I saw her silent weeping and thought how desolate, how lonely she was in seeing the last remains of her Father lowered into the grave.

Today is Ash Wednesday, we had school this morning, but I took no dinner and spent several hours this afternoon alone with my bible and my thoughts, thoughts sad enough when I reflect on my many, many faults, on the times when I swerve from my right path. I had no ink when I wrote before, this is little better than none. I mixed the dregs of my inkstand with some watery stuff I had and used before I got the other, it is too dark to see any longer, must put up my book.

Thursday, Feb. 11th.

We have spent such a pleasant day, Dr. McDonough has been with us from soon after breakfast until a few minutes ago, and he and Miss Mary have been singing ad practising a great deal of the time. Last night he and Dr. Furness spent the evening with us, and Dr. D. appointed this morning as a practising time, so we expected him and did not go into school, he came accompanied by Mr. Kimball, a great surprise to me. I had never met him but twice before, and then only by accident, he only stayed about fifteen minutes, said he wanted to get to Vienna tonight, he brought me a message from, as he said, an old friend of mine, Miss Sallie Brantley, it was that she sent her best love and an urgent invitation to come and see her; I feel quite acquainted with Miss Sallie Brantley though I have never seen her I have heard her spoken of so often.

Mr. Henry Reynolds (brother of Loring’s god father) and Capt. Thomas also called but did not come in. Mr. Reynolds called to know if I had heard recently from his sister, Mrs. Veader, gave me two letters he had just received from her. I was glad to hear from her and to know that she is well. Mr. Reynolds said that if I would direct letters to Savannah, via Shreveport, putting five ten cent stamps on it, it would probably go safely by mail. I am so glad to find any way to send a letter.

This is the last page of my journal book, a book which has been with me and been my faithful confidant in so many scenes and in so many different moods, I don’t know what I should do without my journal, it is such a relief to me to write here; and this book will always be of peculiar interest to me as the one which holds the record of our eventful, of our important journey. I shall always like to be able to recall it in all the particularities which I have written down here, and which I might gradually forget without this record.

Manuscript volume No. 4

February 16th. 1864 —
May 13th. 1865,

pp. 166-340

Oakland, Tuesday, Feb. 16th. 1864.

Willie came home Friday night quite unexpectedly, he was in Monroe hauling corn across the river, went away early the next morning. Mother spent Friday with Mrs. Seale, brought as some Magnolia seed, I have not planted them yet. Saturday morning I set our plants, or rather the roots, out on the shelves, I don’t know whether they will revive; my geranium is dead. I was going to set it in the garden, but on taking it up found the roots quite rotten. I was not very well Saturday, and this discovery of my poor dead flower was too much for me, it made me so sad, it seemed to me to foretell evil to my friend from whom it took it’s sweet name. I suffer much from debility and low spirits the last few week, sometime I am so overpowered by melancholy and find myself in such fits of abstraction that I fear I am losing my mind. I must struggle more against it, sometimes my body feels so weary and weak and my mind and heart so sad that I can scarcely sit up, and feel cross and pettish whenever I am spoken to; I think it comes from the state of my health, it is exercise I need, and I am determined not to neglect this duty any longer as I have done.

Saturday evening Mr. Baxter came, he is an old gentleman from Georgia, not personally known to Father though they are mutually acquainted by reputation, and have corresponded; he and his wife stayed all night here a year ago, while Father was in Virginia, and he stopped the other evening to know if we had heard from him, but finding Father at home and it being late Saturday evening, he accepted Father’s invitation to remain with us till Monday. Dr. McDonough cam over Saturday night, stayed quite late, as he thought it would be the last evening he could hear Miss Mary sing. Willie was home Saturday evening again so that we had quite a company; Mr. Baxter told us all some more bad news about the lawlessness and the scarcity of provisions in Texas, and he and Father agreed in thinking Georgia the best place for these times or, as father emphatically said once before, “the best place in peace or war.” Mr. B. came down here to invest some money in lands on the Ouachita river, he did not do so on examination and inquiry in Monroe, so he told Mother as he passed back to Texas this morning.

Sunday morning I was so ill and weak I was obliged to lie down for an hour or two after breakfast, was much benefitted by my rest and well enough to eat heartily of roast duck at dinner, when Dr. McDonough joined us, he returned to the hospital in the afternoon but rejoined us after tea, to tell us goodbye, but while here he received letters from Dr. Furness (who is on a visit to Mt. Lebanon) telling him that Dr. F. had obtained leave for him to remain here until he came back, probably about Thursday. I found myself scarcely able to sit up in the evening, and though the company was very pleasant I rejoiced when we came to our room. Monday Mother was confined to her bed with a bad headache resulting from cold, this prevented our having school. We were quite lonesome with Mother sick and Father and Willie away. Father went to Millhaven Monday morning, is not coming back till tomorrow. After dinner Dr. McDonough came over, gave me some ideas on drawing and colouring and made me desire to learn to draw more earnestly than ever. Miss Mary and he practised an hour or two, commenced to learn the beautiful song, “Sleeping I dream love,” it is such a favourite of mine. The doctor stayed till after supper, we appointed Wednesday evening for a horseback ride, the last one I shall take in a long time for I am going to send Mollie down to Millhaven to pasture on the cane Thursday, she is getting quite poor. I spent some time yesterday copying an air which Dr. McD. improvised an the piano, and to which he has written some words. I like the air quite well, find it difficult to copy from his playing it, he does not know the notes of music and cannot write it himself. I have not seen the words yet, he promised to bring them over this evening, it is a hymn for peace, he says. The wind blows quite cool today though the sun is shining brightly, we had a hard rain Sunday night, the days have been warm and springlike for a week or two past, but vegetation has scarcely begun to develop itself, the oaks and other forest tress show no buds as yet, I suppose this is owing to the frosty nights. I have a beautiful pink hyacinth in bloom today, it seems to me I never saw such a beautiful shade of pink, the violets we blooming again, I gather a vase full every morning. Mother’s peas are coming up and so are some few other vegetables, but the work in the garden progresses slowly, there is so much to do; the garden has never been laid out at all until this year.

I can write no longer now, am going this evening to see Miss Anna Moore.

Thursday, Feb. 18th.

Oh it is so cold, I have just returned from a walk in the garden with Father and though I was well wrapped up I was painfully cold when I came, the thermometer stands at 34� in a sheltered place, this four deg. higher than it was this morning, however, so we may hope that it will be pleasant again by tomorrow night, this cold will put vegetation back again. I do not think the fruit trees are sufficiently far advanced for the fruit to be injured, I am sure ours are not.

Tuesday evening on my return from Mrs. Lidwell’s I found Mrs. Bondurant and Mrs. Marble here, before they left a negro boy came up to know if two ladies could stay all night, after some little demurring Mother consented to take them, they were Mrs. Moore and her daughter Miss Nichols, refugees form Tensas parish. Mrs. Bondurant was slightly acquainted with them and they had a great deal to tell and to hear; we found that we had stopped in front of their house about five minutes one day while we were travelling and this circumstance, slight as it was, made us feel less like strangers; they had a dreadful time coming through the swamp, broke down once, five or six miles from any house, and had to ride that distance on mules with only a shawl for a saddle; they were quite pleasant. Miss Lucy Nichols was very young and very small and very affected, appeared like a spoiled only daughter among three older brothers, but very good humoured and lively. The next morning Mrs. Moore charged me repeatedly to make Willie get acquainted with her sons, “one a Lieutenant in the Tensas cavalry, and one in the commissary department,” and her last words were to Willie, repeating the same charge; her Lieut. and her commissary are equally indifferent to me.

After Mrs. Moore left Mother started for Monroe to meet Father, she took Georgie with her. We had all assembled in the parlour for school, finding Rose had neglected to make a fire in the schoolroom, and Willie was putting on his over socks and comforter by the fire, when Dr. McDonough knocked; he spent the day with us, which passed quickly and pleasantly in playing and singing and trying songs, among which last was his hymn, he brought the words over and Miss Mary learned the air quite correctly. We gave the Doctor some boiled shoulder and cornbread and cow peas for dinner with some fried eggs for an entree, it was all we had and he seemed quite content. The evening was so chill and cloudy that we could not ride. Dr. Rolls sent for Dr. McD. in the afternoon near dark. It was late when Father and Mother and little Georgie came home, they were very cold. Doctor McDonough spent the evening. This morning we had school again, all my scholars behaved well, and consequently I feel quite bright tonight. I had a good time for reading this evening, have been interrupted for several days.

Saturday night, Feb. 20th.

Have just returned from a ride with the Dr., he came over this morning to ask if I could go this evening. I had just sent Mollie away this morning and thought I could not go, but the Dr. proposed my riding on Dr. Rolls pony and as I wished very much to ride, I consented to what I have never done but once before, ride a strange horse, the pony was rather rough, but I enjoyed my ride very much indeed, the weather moderated a good deal last night and it was a delightful evening, bright sunlight with a pleasant fresh west wind. We rode some distance, principally through my favourite wood paths, I feel a little fatigued and somewhat stiff, it is so long since I rode any. On my return I found Mrs. Bondurant here, she only stayed a few minutes after I came. The Doctor did not come in, is coming over after tea. Father is looking very badly now, is not sick, but overcome with a dreadful debility, I have so recently passed through it myself that I can fool with his perfectly, he is very much troubled in mind about what is to become of us, thinks a little of sending us all to Kentucky so that the children can go to school. I hope earnestly that he may not decide to do it, to me the very idea in insupportable, I think it would be better for the children to go on even as they are now rather than for us to be thus separated from him and Willie. Willie was at home last night, left this morning, we shall not see him for two weeks or more again, he is gone up to bayou Bartholomew an a keel boat to bring down some corn, most of the soldiers from here have gone down to Columbia now to protect the negroes who are working on fortifications there now, there is some rumour that headquarters will be moved there, then we should see but little of Willie.

Tuesday, Feb. 22. 1864.

The birthday of Washington, an anniversary sacred to the memory of freedom. Alas, how is it now polluted, this is the day appointed by the infamous Banks for his election for Governor and other State officers of Louisiana, a mere farce; the flimsiness of the pretence must be apparent to every mind, for the legislative assembly is to have full power, except where its decrees conflict the will of Lincoln, made known as he shall see fit by proclamations from time to time. Oh that we could free ourselves from this bondage, from this disgraceful, this heavy yoke, when will the time come when we shall be rid of this impudent invader, if I were only sure of our final victory it would not be so hard, yet resignation is our duty, however great the trial.

We children are quite alone today, Father and Mother have gone to Monroe. Dr. McDonough left Monday morning, we miss him so much, he was here so constantly before he left, spent the day and evening with us Sunday, we parted with sincere regret on both sides. Mr. Peterson came out yesterday, took dinner with us, brought “Life on the Ocean wave,” which he had copied for Miss Mary, he copies so nicely; spoke of his baby, says he thinks it is the greatest treasure in the world.

The weather in fine and warm again, I hope we shall have no more cold. Mother, Miss May and I went to Mrs. Craig’s yesterday evening, something was said about our school, when Mrs. Craig asked me if I did not want another scholar, she was in jest, but told her in earnest that if she would send Margaret I would do my best for her, she is just Miss May’s age, and a nice, sensible girl, I like her very much, she is so plain and industrious and intelligent too.

Friday, Feb. 26th. 1864.

We had quite an excitement here yesterday evening, I was sitting reading when I heard a terrible scream from Georgie. Mother and I were both frightened and started up, I ran with several of the servants to the place from whence the screams came and found George up in the other grove with Mr. Heddicks and Loring, they had erected a machine called a flying horse, consisting of a pole supported on a stake by a pin which allowed it to revolve freely, some boards were nailed on the ends of the pole, and on these two persons were to sit, one on each end, while another pushed it around. George and Lory had gotten on these seats but the pole, being made of pine, broke and poor Georgie fell, the pole came down on his ancle and sprained it badly, he was very much frightened as well as hurt. We brought him up to the house, bathed his foot in cold water and afterwards, finding it much swollen, rubbed it with some hot liniment, it does not pain him now but he cannot walk on it.

The fine weather still continues, I have been eager to get out in the garden all day but have not been at liberty until now. Have felt quite “lazy” all day and very dreamy, had a very vivid dream this morning just before rising of my dear friend Valeria, and have been thinking of her all day, it seems to me I can see her before me, and very often in spite of my sober reason when I lift up my eyes I expect to see her beloved form, this morning when I was thinking of her it seemed to me a long, narrow vista opened before me and in the distance was her familiar figure as clear and full as when I last saw her more than three years ago; how vivid my imagination is, sometimes these impressions are so powerful that I feel like ascribing to them a kind of spiritual reality.

Mother brought me a little bunch of violets and geranium leaves from May Stevens the other day, her geranium is putting out finely, I want to go in and get a cutting from her, but we have but three mules here, one is sick and the other two are ploughing. Dr. Furness spent the evening here the other day, was quite agreeable. I keep thinking whenever I see him of his neglect of the soldiers, these couriers here say that he does not care anything for them, and I have heard him make several remarks which I thought rather unfeeling, one notices it more by contrast with Dr. McDonough who is so kind and conscientious.

Monday, Feb. 29th.

I rose this morning long before day and have some leisure time before breakfast to write. Last night we were joyfully surprised by Willie’s coming home, we did not expect him for several days, poor fellow he was quite troubled, had worked very hard to get back to Monroe before “the twilight” should make another trip, on account of some of the railroad negroes who were on her, and who were very much dissatisfied, but when he got to Monroe he found that the twilight had come and gone, and that four of the negroes had left her at Monroe, two Willie thinks may have gone entirely, the other two he supposes to be at Millhaven. Willie had promised his squad to give them a holiday at Millhaven as a reward for their hard work, but when he went to the government clerk to get the order, he found him locked up, playing cards, and when he got access to him he would not give him the necessary order. Then Willie had no horse to come out on, he went all over Monroe and Trenton and could neither hire nor borrow one, then being in a last extremity, he went to Capt. Seale’s and Lucy lent him her pony, he arrived at home about eight o’clock, quite tired; is obliged to go to Vienna today to see Capt. Oliver about the negroes, and we have nothing here to ride but three lazy mules, to ride any of them would be torture. Willie will have to borrow or hire a horse from Dr. Temple, and he hates to borrow a horse.

The weather has changed so suddenly, yesterday morning it was very warm, but in the evening there was every appearance of a violent storm, the wind blew cold from the north and we found a fire very comfortable indeed. It rained last night and is very chilly this morning.

Margaret Craig came Saturday for me to alter her hat as I promised, I went to immediately and finished lining, trimming and all some hours before dark. I succeeded beyond my hopes, it was the prettiest shaped brim I have ever made, and as Miss Edgeworth would say, was vastly becoming to Margaret. We have Mrs. Temple’s backgammon board and chess men now, and Father and I are learning to play chess, we are learning from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, were so fascinated with it Saturday night that we did not read any but sat up till after ten playing chess; ten is a very late hour for us. Poor little Georgie had a chill Friday night and the fever never left him till late Saturday evening, he looks very badly, but escaped his chill last night. I hope he may get better now, his leg is improving, he walked on it a good deal yesterday, but in the evening complained very much of his knee, which was much swollen.

Friday, March 4th. / 1864.

Willie returned very unexpectedly last night, he had sent a note to me in the evening saying that he would not be able to come before his next trip on the boat, and that we must send Antony down with his clothes, but last night after supper we heard his well known whistle, and his “walk, walk" to Pompey. The government clerk in Monroe had received news that the Yankees were coming up to Harrisonburg, and that he must move the government stores from Monroe a few miles back in the country. Willie left quite early this morning on this service, may be back tonight. I hope the Yankees will not come up as far as Monroe. Our troops will be obliged to retreat I suppose, there are so few of them, we hear something about an attack on Mobile by land and water simultaneously, but it is only a rumour.

Dr. Furness came over last night, we were just finishing supper, and as Father and I had been playing chess, our nearly finished game was left on the stand. As I was putting the men away Dr. Furness naturally said something about playing chess and Father proposed we should take a game. I checkmated him, whether by his indulgence or not I don’t know. Today is Miss Mary’s sixteenth birthday and the children have begged a holiday, so I am free to follow my own devices. I finished the last volume of Cosmos yesterday, have been more than a year reading it, it has given me a great deal of pleasure and information though there are several parts which I cannot now understand, by reason of my imperfect knowledge, much that he says about magnetism was beyond my range, and about geology too, I mean pure geology, the names of the different kinds of rock and their classification; but there is one thing the book has done for me without doubt it has made me feel a sincere respect, admiration, and if I might so far presume, a love for its authour, the very name of Humboldt seem grand to me. Now that I have finished Cosmos, I shall read more in my french than I have lately done, and I hope soon to commence my Blair’s rhetoric that has been tantalizing me on my shelf for so long, the study of language and of composition is delightful to me.

Wednesday, March 16th.

I did not know till just now that it had been so long since I wrote here. I don’t remember all the remarkable events that have taken place in that time, and shall not attempt to recount them. Mary Stevens and Miss Sarah Garrett made their long anticipated visit to me on Thursday. I was very glad to see them, and enjoyed the day very much, Mary took me quite by surprise by saying that I was to go home with her, however on considering that it was Thursday and that I should enjoy a visit to town very much, I concluded not to oppose her design, we had a delightful ride in, the evening was springlike, and I felt happy in the enjoyment of the ride and the blue sky and the bright air and the pleasant face opposite me. We called at Mrs. Seale’s, found them all at home, and saw Mrs. Seale’s flowers which are coming out beautifully. I spent a good deal of my time in town in visiting, had several calls to return; went with Mary to her french lesson one morning, and wished more than before that the teacher were nearer us, they have only four in the class and I like the mode of teaching very much. I learned one or two little things about the pronunciation in that short time I was under the influence of the light; at any rate, my resolution to continue improving myself was very much quickened. I went to see Mrs. Dortch the morning before I left town. I have not lately passed a pleasanter hour then the one spent in her bright room, she was so agreeable and so cordial. Miss Barnes too, I was glad to see. Mrs. Dortch’s little Johnny is indeed a sweet little follow with his fair hair and skin and bright blue eyes.

Played chess while I was in town with John Stevens, he don’t know how to play very well, but of the two games we played, he was victorious in one. Father came in for me Monday morning, called for me after dinner, but just as I was running across the hall to get ready, Miss Lou Hanna came to call on me, and she remained so long that it was not until quite dusk that we arrived at home; the place looked very pleasant in the moonlight, and the house seemed so large and homelike, I was glad to be at home again though my visit had been so very pleasant.

I forgot to say that I went to church on Sunday, heard good and fervent sermon from Mr. McGuire, Mary’s Grandfather; it is the first time I ever heard him preach, he was with as at Grandma Wadley’s burial and I thought of that when I heard his voice in prayer, I could not restrain my tears when he prayed for “all our absent friends wherever they may be or whatever their situation,” there was one in my thoughts as she ever is, where is she, where is she!

On my return home I found a note waiting me from Mrs. Morancy, affectionate as her letters always are. I have some friends that I know love me very much and I return their affection, but I can always think of some friend they love better than me, with Valeria I “am esteemed and loved more than any other friend she has, or can have,” she wrote me those words and I believe them as much as I believe that long before she told me that, she was my one friend.

We commenced school again yesterday, all the children did well, and they have done so today too, except that I had a little bit of trouble about Loring’s reading; he is now reading Abbott’s history of Alexander, it is true there are a good many long words in it, but with a little help he can get over them quite easily and I think the book much better for him than these little reading books we have, he was very much annoyed before school from the consequences of a fit of “disobligingness" he had, and when I called him to read, began to talk about how everybody was cross to him and how he would not be kind to him if I would always be encouraging sister May to be cross to him, and finally begun reading by jerking out each word in a slow, sullen tone which is peculiarly irritating, but after talking to him a little while and telling I should certainly speak to Mother if he did not improve in his manner of reading, he commenced and read five or six pages well and with great interest, his usual lesson is three pages, and when he had finished that I was about to close the book, what was my delighted surprise to hear that he wanted to read more, it was the story of Bucephalus and he was much interested. Speaking of Bucephalus reminds me that Willie has sold, or rather “swapped” his fine horse Caesar with Dr. Temple, he won’t let the Dr. come near him. I was so much amused the morning after Willie sold him, Miss Mary and I were sitting in the parlour reading when them came a “Hello” at the door. Miss Mary went out and found a negroe boy with the petition, “please ma’am Dr. Temple says will Mr. Wadley please send a hand up there to help catch that horse Mars Willie sold him this morning.” Dr. Temple had bought the horse, but he had not bought Antony.

Willie has lost his pony, he went off the boat one night and before Willie could get out went off in a run, he thinks he will certainly get him again, I hope so, he is such a fine pony and so necessary to Willie now. We have not seen Willie since early Thursday morning when he left for Columbia on the Twilight, we think it came up this morning and hope to see him tonight, it seems like so long since he was here. Dr. Furness was over last night, appeared quite pleasant, more so than I have ever seen him before, Miss Kate Brantley and her sister Mrs. Heard were here Thursday night, I was away and did not have the pleasure of seeing them. The weather is chilly and quite windy, like March, but all the oak tress are in bloom, the dogwood begins to look white on the hillside and the jessamine wreaths perfume the hollows, spring is near at hand. Yesterday I saw one of my heliotropes peeping up it’s little green leaves in the garden.

Friday, March 19th. / ’64.

We were surprised yesterday evening by a visit from Dr. McDonough, we were all in the parlour, Father and I were engrossed in chess, Mother was knitting and Miss Mary playing and singing for the courier, who had asked to hear her, when the knock came. Mr. Haddox who was sitting next to the door, answered it. I thought I knew the voice but would not say so, I have been so often mistaken in voices and steps lately; we were all heartily glad to see the doctor, he looked jaded and ill, no wonder, had been riding a day and a night in the stage; he is going down to Delhi to settle up his business with Mr. Smith’s wife. Mr. Smith has gone away to Vicksburg and is in the employment of the Yankee government. Dr. McDonough feels very badly about it, they were intimate friends. We kept the Dr. with us all night, he retired early on account of his headache and fatigue. Eva, Miss Mary and I were sitting alone in the parlour when we heard the galop of a horse, we cried out “Willie has come,” and ran to meet, sure enough it was he, he looked very well, but was troubled at not having found Pompey, is afraid he has lost him altogether. Willie is now performing the duties of clerk of the boat, (the steamboat “Twilight") in addition to his other work. I am sorry he has this last place, I am afraid it will not prove an elevating one. I am not afraid of Willie’s taking any of the vices of gambling or drinking or smoking or anything else like this, he has a natural dislike to all, but the tone of his companions’ mind and manners can scarcely fail of having some effect upon him; I love him so well, my dear kind brother! he left immediately after breakfast this morning, don’t know when he can come back. The Yankee gunboats are in Red river, and the Twilight keeps her steam up ready to run up to Camillen if they approach nearer. We hear rumours of a threatened attack on Alexandria, and of a great victory gained by Lee over Butler in Virginia, but everything in uncertain.

Tuesday, March 22nd.

We have such dreadful weather since I wrote last, it commenced on Saturday which was a dull, gloomy day and quite chilly, but Saturday night we had a most violent storm of wind and rain and the morning dawned cold and cloudy, growing more cloudy and cold as the day wore on, with occasional falls of rain, the night came on with a cold, slow rain, which increased to a storm. Monday it was very cold all day, and about dusk we were electrified by the sight of falling snow! this changed into a driving, sleety rain, but this morning when I rose from my bed, Rose, who was making my firs said, “Look out of the windows, Miss Sarah, see how pretty it is.” It was pretty indeed, but the cold beauty of winter, it was not yet light, and white patches of snow gleamed here and there down and up the hillsides, wherever a few boards or logs furnished a resting place, the roofs were all white, and by the glimmering twilight I could an the snow lay on the great arms and tiny twigs of the oaks, forming a contrast to the yellow blossoms which I knew were there though I could not see them. Snow on the 22nd. of March, I could scarcely believe it! As the morning light advanced the dogwoods and the snow vied with each other in whiteness, but the sun rose clear and brilliant to our glad vision so long wearied with clouds and darkness and the snow disappeared like frost work, the dripping from the roofs sounded like rain, it was so strange and pretty to see the clear, fast falling drops shining and changing in the sunlight, it is not warm yet, but is pleasanter than it has been for several days, once more we all say “Oh I hope this will be the last of the cold weather,” I hope it so much. Bright, beautiful Spring when will you come again, how long will you sicken me with hope deferred, all winter I have sighed for Spring, but I am afraid we shall see her shorn of some of her many beauties when she comes at last, this alternately cold and warm weather is spoiling all the flowers, as well as fruits.

Willie spent the night with us Saturday, was obliged to go to Fordsville on government business Sunday morning but came back to dinner.

Father is making some gloves for himself, out of some very nice buckskin which he had dressed on the place. I think he will have a very comfortable, serviceable pair of gloves. I wanted to help him make them, and had intended to do so, but a most inconvenient rising came on my thimble finger Saturday and I have not been able to sew any since.

I have been making a pair of corsets lately which have taken a good deal of time and trouble, I cut them out from a pair of Mother’s without ripping them up, and think they fit very well, taking this into consideration, they will fit very nicely indeed when I have made a little alteration which I contemplate.

We have commenced reading Dickens’ “Old Curiosity Shop” aloud. I like it very much but should like it better were the horrid, disgusting Quilp left out, or at least modified, are there really any such monsters in mind, heart, and person all combined? I hope not, I cannot believe there are. What a beautiful story is that of Little Nell and the Old man, so pathetic in it’s simplicity; we have only read a little way in the book, have been so much interrupted, find it growing in interest as the different characters come on. I have another “story book" on hand now, two at a time is more than enough but this is a borrowed book and I have to take it now or not at all; it is “Say and Seal” by the author of “The wide, wide world,” and written in much the same style, simple, quiet and religious throughout. I like it and think it does me good, though there amy be some faults in style and wording. I am sure the book shows throughout an earnest desire in the authouress or authouresses, to benefit her readers both for time and eternity, there are many books of which we cannot say as much.

Friday, March 25th. 1864.

The evening of Good Friday, I spent the morning as usual in school, George and Loring both gave as some trouble, and tired me very much, the dinner bell rang before we were through. I took no dinner, and after I had finished one or two things in the school room, came down here to spend two or three hours alone with my God. Oh how I feel my negligences and weaknesses, and how my trials sink into nothing before the solemn thoughts which this day brings up in my mind, yet I am not able to sustain my soul in her flights, my flesh so weak and my mind too. I have just been walking a little in the garden to rest myself but my head feels so weary.

Mother and I went to spend the day at Mrs. Seale’s yesterday, I did not want to go but Father wished it, the wind was high, and keen as a sharp sword and it blew directly in our faces, so that the ride was very disagreeable, but I was very glad we went for we saw Willie, he was just starting for Camden, we saw him only a few minutes, he looked so well and was so kind, expects to leave the boat at Camden and return by land. It is reported that the Yankees will be here before many days, but some think they will go to Shreveport, and leave Monroe unvisited. Was there ever such a dark period in a nation’s history before, sometimes it seems that all is dark, all is east of the Mississippi, the soldiers are deserting by scores, the officers are most of them cowards or knaves and the people seem to have lost patriotism, even the shadow of patriotism; to be high in rank in this army is almost synonymous for high in corruptness, to the east of the Mississippi lies our only stay, our only hope. I hope all from there, but we hear nothing but vague rumours; I hope strongly, but the end seems afar off and in my darker hours I am tempted to believe it uncertain.

Sunday night.
March 27th. 1864.

The last hours of Easter Sunday are passing away, it has been a happy one to me, the day was beautiful and all through the morning and evening too, the wind among the tree tops has seemed to be repeating in glad tones, “Christ is risen, Christ is risen,” how can I be thankful enough for this unspeakable gift, “for the means of grace, and for the hope of Glory.”

After breakfast the children had gone down into the garden, I went there too for a few of the white violets that grow so plentifully near the little water course that runs at the foot of the hill, there I found Georgie and together we walked up to Grandma’s grave, we sat down on the leaves, leaning against a tree, and listened to the continual anthem of the wind among the pines. My heart was filled with grateful happiness as I listened and as I felt the warm rays of the sun, the budding trees and shrubs looked high against the blue sky and the little birds twittered their sabbath songs from branch and twig. Loring and Eva saw us from the garden and came to join us, we sat there some time, talking of Christ and the resurrection, solemn but happy themes, as we walked slowly to the house we met Miss Mary and John, and stopped to gather some of the little “turkey berries” at the foot of the beech tree; their red colour delighted the little ones. My little bunch of violets had been increased by so many and various gifts that I had a pretty boquet when I reached home. The morning was spent in reading the service and the bibles, and in rest which fell into sleep for about quarter of an hour, I found myself refreshed by my little sleep and after dinner read a short sermon, then talked and read to the children and then we took our bible and prayer books up to Grandma’s grave, where I read them the affecting story of Christ’s judgement and crucifixion out of the Gospel of St. John, they learned some verses and then we took a very pleasant walk, the sun was enveloped in clouds when we arrived at home and we sat in the hall all together until the cool wind sent us to the parlour. A story or two to George and a little reading followed and then the supper bell rang. I wish we might spend every Sunday as well as this one. I am tired though, and must put up my book which has now kept me longer than I expected when I began.

March 31st. Thursday.

The month is going out in stormy wind an it came in, how it sighs and whistles round the house, just as it has done all day, blowing the sand and leaves in whirlwinds, it seems as if it must blight every bud and blossom, but in spite of it spring is now coming in earnest, the dogwoods are bleaching whiter and whiter every day and the beautiful and varied green of the young foliage brightens the hillside. Father and I took a ride yesterday evening, gathered some jessamines and I returned with my hands full of the graceful, fragrant wreaths. I love the yellow jessamine so much, I am rejoiced to see some tiny green buds coming out on those I planted in February; the buds are coming out on our few rose bushes too, and the violets are again blooming. If this cold, blustering wind will only cease with March, and make place for the gentle April showers, all will be well; I never saw a more disagreeable March, there have not been more than three calm days in the whole month. Today just after dinner I thought we were going to have a violent storm, the clouds gathered very darkly in the west and the wind swayed the tall pines like reeds, oh how beautiful the yellow oak tops and the fresh green of the gum trees looked against the dark sky. I sat by my window, dividing my attention between the scene without and Lamartine’s “Chute d’un Ange,” after reading a longer time than before, I raised my eyes and was dazzled by the glory of the sunshine, the clouds were breaking away on every side, the blue sky shone in brilliant contrast with here and there a little fleecy cloud, I could not see the sun but his beam lay bright an the hillside and glanced upon the waving tree tops and lighted up the mass of dark cloud which still rested on the horizon, in a moment there flashed on my soul the beautiful words of Job, “And now ye cannot see the bright light that is in the clouds save the wind passeth and cleanseth them.” I was so glad for those words then, for I was tired and disheartened, I had had such a bad time with Loring, had to take him in school after dinner, the first time since last summer.

I am getting to be quite a milliner, if misfortunes should reduce me thus far, might set up a shop after a short apprenticeship. Father and I rode to Mrs. Wynne’s Saturday evening, in the course of conversation she mentioned that she wanted me to fix over her little daughter’s hat, wanted it turned down like Margaret Craig’s, on hearing that it was Leghorn I thought I could do nothing with, but little Mattie’s face turned so grave and her Mother had such a disappointed air as she said she must smooth out the ribbon and put it on again herself, I thought I would try and do what I could. I was at work on it nearly all of yesterday afternoon, for the ribbon required much smoothing and even washing, but after all it looks like quite a pretty little hat now. Mrs. Mays asked Mother the other day if she would come up and spend the day if I would show her how to sew her palmetto hat, that will be equivalent to doing it myself. I have read two or three lectures in my rhetoric, it so delightful to me.

I have been playing chess this evening and reading so long in the “Old Curiosity Shop” that my eyes are quite tired and I feel as if Richard Swiveller’s ’balmy’ could descend very gently on my heavy lids.

April 5th. Tuesday night.

I have not had time to write any here since the month came in, on the first we had, as usual, plenty of “April fools,” some very successful, others very nonsensical. Saturday was a very happy day, the brightness and the warmth of the weather made us incline to joyfullness, and then about ten o’clock in the morning we were delightfully surprised by Willie’s coming, he was in fine health and good spirits, and we were so glad to see him. In the afternoon he drove me out in the buggy to try his new mare, she trotted very well and we took a very pleasant drive indeed. Loring and I rode part of the way to Trenton with Willie, we were very sorry he could not have stayed all night.

Sunday the weather was cold, cloudy and stormy, we had a short but beautiful storm of wind and rain in the evening, after which the sun set quite clear.

Yesterday we had quite an early breakfast for Father to go down to Millhaven, we missed him very much yesterday and today, and were rejoiced when soon after dinner today we heard the buggy. Willie came with Father, is going to stay until day after tomorrow when he leaves for Homer. The Twilight is going to be returned to it’s owner, and Willie reports to Capt. Oliver, the quarter master, at Homer. I shall thus have an opportunity of sending a letter to Mrs. Morancy, I know she will be glad to see Willie.

Willie and I took a very pleasant ride together this evening, I always enjoy a ride with him so much, the woods are beginning to sport their spring robes now, the dogwoods which were not blighted by frost are now dazzling white in the sunlight, our hillside is brilliant with them, the jessamines are falling fast but the honeysuckles are just coming into bloom.

Father brought us some bad news today, Mr. Peterson has gone to the Yankees, I was astonished and sorry to hear it, he is not an American, and has not been here many years, this may be an excuse. We have so many disloyal persons amongst us now, the public sentiment in Louisiana is very much demoralized, patriotism is a virtue out of fashion and one that is looked askance at, the universal sentiment in that this side of the river at least, is lost to us, and there is even now and then a low murmur that we will soon be altogether subjugated. Oh, we don’t think enough of what subjugation really means, far from us be such a thought. Father says he saw a man today from the other side the river who said that all were hopefull over there and fighting on with a good heart. Oh, how I wish we were there.

Saturday night.
April 9th. 1864.

This may prove to have been a memorable day in our lives, for today our long deferred fears are realized, the Yankee gunboats have come up to Monroe and the Yankee pickets are out an each side of the river, we know no particulars as to the number of boats or the men, and we can only vaguely conjecture what is the motive of their coming, but I must go on and give a connected account of the events of the past few days. First, Wednesday was John’s fourth birthday, and it was also the day set for shearing the sheep, so the children begged a holiday which I was very willing to grant, for Willie was going into Monroe in the morning and I wanted to wash his palmetto hat and do sundry other little things while he was gone. The morning passed quickly and pleasantly and the afternoon brought Willie with the welcome announcement of a visit from Mary Stevens and Mrs. Tucker on the morrow.

Thursday morning rose bright and clear, and it was only ten o’clock when our visitors came, we had a very enjoyable day. I am too sleepy now to say any more about how it passed, in the latter part of the morning the sky clouded over and soon after dinner the rain commenced and continued all the evening. I was very glad of an excuse to keep May all night, but while I rejoiced for my own sake felt badly on Mrs. Stevens’ account, for she was alone with James and Louis. Mary and Mrs. Tucker went back early in the morning with an appointment from me to spend the day with her today.

I worked steadily all day at sewing Father’s hat, but could not quite finish it. Last night was Willie’s last night at home and we sat up quite late. This morning we were ready for our visit to town, soon after breakfast the carriage which Father has just mended drove up and Willie stood at the door to tell us goodbye, dear brother, when shall we see him again, our hearts would have been sad if we could have foreseen this Yankee expedition, as it was we thought we should see him soon again, and felt quite happy as we drove slowly along in the bright sunshine, admiring at every step some new beauty in the opening springs, now it was the bright green beech trees, now the brilliant white dogwoods or some fragrant clump of honeysuckle and again the glistening green huckleberry leaves or the tiny flowers in the grass, thus happily and quietly we rode along until we came to Trenton and were greeted by the alarming intelligence that the Yankee gunboats were a short distance below Monroe. We kept on to the lower ferry, however, left the carriage on this side, and crossed the dancing little waves in a skiff, went up to Mrs. Stevens’ found them excited and somewhat distressed. James was quite ill, had been taken with bleeding at the nose and all efforts to check it had been unsuccessful for several hours, it had at last ceased, but he was very weak. Mrs. McGuire had gone to the plantation, and Mrs. Stevens had no one to advise with. I felt quite calm, but Miss Mary was very nervous, wanted to come back home immediately. After going down town and hearing particulars Father thought we had best come back, so I got a geranium cutting from May, one of the chief objects of my visits and we can back. The bright morning had changed to cloud, and a cold wind as we drove home, we shut one of the carriage windows, drew our cloaks closer about us, and thus we came on slowly. Miss Mary went to sleep, father to reading, and I to reverie, the way seemed short to me, of course Mother was much surprised to see us back again, and still more so to hear the cause.

The stage did not go in to Monroe this evening, was within a few miles of it when they heard the news and turned back, the only passenger on board came here to spend the night, and from him we heard that the Yankees have come. Lieut. Pugh has come in since I commenced writing, he says there are three gunboats, two barges and two transports, he is camped very near here tonight with a squad of pickets. I am so sleepy I can’t write any more.

I forgot to say in my journal the other day that the couriers left here on the fifth of this month.

Sunday evening,
April 10th. 1864.

This has not been at all like Sunday; fatigued by the excitement and exertion of the past weeks, I slept until much later than usual this morning. Lieut. Pugh and his brother came to breakfast, which was quite late, his brother tolerably tall, with fair complexion and blue eyes and a pleasant modesty, open countenance, quite different from Lieut. Pugh who is quite small, black hair and eyes and a rather swarthy complexion, which however, does not give him a manly air, his manners are quite pert and somewhat affectedly careless, soon after breakfast Father had Prince make the ambulance ready to drive him in to Trenton with the gentleman who stayed here last night; his name is J. A. Roberts, he is going to Virginia where his friends are, had been living for a good many years in Arizona, but took refuge in Texas soon after the war commenced, his health is very bad, and he shows it. He had such a large, heavy blanket, woven by the Narvahoe indians, it is as thick as an ingrain carpet, and very prettily striped with white, black and blue, it was large enough for two blankets, being sewn in the middle, he said it was too heavy for him and gave half of it to Father, it is quite an acquisition, so good in travelling. The whole blanket before it was ripped weighed forty five pounds. Father asked the gentleman to write to Uncle David after he got into Mississippi or Georgia and tell him that we were well, he said he was not willing to take any letters, in case of being searched by the Yankees; wanted to try and get them to take him dawn in one of their transports.

We grew very impatient as the hours passed on to one o’clock, it was nearly two when Father came, accompanied by a strange man, and with his hands quite bloody, we were all excitement until he could sit down and tell us the story. He said he had gone on very quietly until he nearly reached Trenton, there Mr. Craig, who was very close behind, called out that he heard the Yankees were coming up to Trenton, and he turned round and came back home. Father however, thought he might as well go on and did so, when he arrived opposite Mrs. Seale’s he saw a party of Yankees, thirteen in number, with some uncommissioned officer at their head, they were talking to a knot of ladies, among whom were Mrs. Seale and Lucy. Father stopped then too, and the officer began to ask him if he had seen a Confederate officer mounted on a white horse pass up the road. Father told him he had not seen a white horse since he left home. It appears that a Captain Brigham, said to be a bravo sort of a man, had been “cavorting” round below Trenton in sight of the gunboats, had been seen from them, and was the cause of this party having come on shore. After speaking to the yankee a little while Father asked Mrs. Seale if she would not like to take a ride down to the Monroe ferry, she took her bonnet and went with him. Father did not go over to Monroe, left Mr. Roberts at the ferry and returned up to Trenton. When he got up into the town he found that this party of Yankees were going into the stores and houses, not private dwellings, searching for this Captain Brigham and for arms, they found some old muskets and some rusty swords and two kegs of powder, went into the post office and took out all the letters except those addressed to ladies, (a rare act of courtesy indeed).

Father stopped up in Trenton, sat there in the ambulance to see what was going to happen, them was a Mr. Turner in the post office who had come down to Trenton that morning with his buggy, they took his buggy to carry their arms and powder down to their gunboats with, Mr. Turner asked them to send it back, they said they would not, but if he chose he might ride down to the boat and bring it back himself, so he got in beside the young yankee who was driving. In the mean time one or two Yankees had gone up the road a little way, and as they returned Prince (who was walking up the street) overheard them say to the commander that there were some Confederates up the road, he said they would go down and gather some horses and then go after them. Prince also overheard one say to the officer, “Why don’t you take that ambulance to carry the arms down,” he replied that that gentleman was using it, and he would not trouble him. Well, having taken two horses from citizens who were there, they all went down towards Monroe, and Father and Prince faced slowly back towards home. They had advanced only a few yards when a loud report which they mistook for a gun from the boat arrested their progress, they waited for further developments, pretty soon the two horses the Yankees had taken came running back. Father thought they had been frightened and thrown their Yankee riders, pretty soon they heard another report, a real gun this time, and in a few moments here came one or two of our soldiers saying they had had a skirmish. At first Father did not believe it but Lieut. Pugh soon overtook him, and he found that it was really so. It happened thus, as the Yankees went on down with the buggy in front, our men, some dozen or so on horseback, dashed round the corner and the parties met, unexpectedly I reckon to both, perhaps our men might have taken the Yankees prisoners as the latter were on foot and taken by surprise, but the buggy with the citizen in it arrested their fire, in the words of Mr. Turner “The horse turned right round towards the river, the young Yankee either jumped or fell out of the buggy. Young Pugh called out ’charge’, some of the men discharged their guns, the keg of powder exploded between my legs where it was sitting, the horse plunged and I jumped out. I thought I would light on my feet but came flat down on my face, and when I picked myself up and looked round I expected to see at least two or three lying dead on the ground, but not one either Yankee or Confederate was to be seen. I don’t know where the Yankees went to, some of them might have jumped over the bluff, but I didn’t think to look and see, and had I thought I wouldn’t have looked for fear they would shoot up at me!” how the powder came to explode no one knows, or how the horse got his leg broken, it appears that none of the Yankees were hurt. One of our men was severely wounded, he was supported on his horse out to a house about three miles from Trenton. Father laid him on a bed and examined his wound, it was just above the hip. We heard yesterday evening that Dr. Whyte said it, the ball, had passed through the liver and that his recovery was doubtful; it is sad to think of a life thus lost for worse than nothing. The only effect upon the Yankees after their fright was over was to exhasperate them, they threatened to shell the town but afterwards replied to the entreaties of some of the citizens that on reconsideration they would not do so unless our forces returned, that “if they saw a rebel soldier there again they would certainly shell the place,” rebel indeed, proud invaders, when shall we teach you the bitterness of that word again!

Mrs. Temple and Miss Anna Moore came over in the afternoon; about four o’clock we were surprised by seeing Major Waddill ride up, he had come to Monroe on business not expecting to meet the Yankees. I suppose his business is of a somewhat important and difficult sort, I don’t know what. Mother and Father invited him to spend the night, he went to meet an appointment but returned about dark. Is a very elegant and agreeable gentleman, my short acquaintance with him disposed me to like him very much, he is very fond of his family, and is a great money maker, looks quite jaded, probably from fatigue and anxiety combined.

We are preparing for quite a battle an Red River now, probably it has taken place before this, I scarcely dare to hope much. Oh, if we could but gain it, it would so reanimate the sinking spirits and revive the hope that is almost dead, I mean always on this side the river, from what we hear we have no right to distrust our troops on the other side. We hear that Forrest and Morgan are again doing brilliant things, Forrest has lately taken and destroyed Paducah, Columbus, Ken. and Union City.

It was nearly dark this evening when Lucy Seale and Mrs. Norriss rode up on horseback, I was alarmed, thought they were coming here for refuge from some impending evil. Lucy looked the picture of troubled alarm, wanted to know if Father had an ox wagon, or any kind of wagon here that he could send for their trunks, they were afraid that our men might go back there and that the town would be shelled. Father had nothing but a cart, and promised to send it in tomorrow morning. Mrs. Norris had been in to Monroe, that morning, said that the gunboats were not going to stay but a very few days, the river is falling so fast as to render a longer delay dangerous.

Capt. Frank Garrett and a Lieut. Hardy were taken prisoners, were about town in citizen’s dress and someone, I suppose, informed of them, it is a disgraceful thing they ought to be heartily ashamed, but Mrs. Norriss says they took it very pleasantly, probably they did not reflect that if the Yankees chose they might consider them as spies and hang them instead of parolling them an they promised, and as they very probably expected when they put themselves in the way. Father brought me a very cordial, sweet note from Miss Sallie Brantley in answer to one I wrote her inviting her to visit us, she was on the eve of starting for Minden on a visit of three months, said she would with pleasure accept the invitation when she returned home in July.

Monday, April 11th.

Father went into Trenton this morning in company with the cart that went for Mrs. Seale’s trunks, Mrs. Seale concluded not to send them out today. Father did not go over to Monroe, says the Yankees appear to be in considerable commotion caused probably from the surprise yesterday. Father said there were a good many negores on the bank with their bundles who had run to the Yankees. He says he saw some ladies and children carrying chickens to the boat to barter for coffee. Sandy, who drove the cart, was on the bank when the skiff came on shore to get the chickens, says the Yankees gave one pound of coffee for four chickens. Sandy asked the negro who was in the skiff if any body could go on board that boat that chose, (meaning the gunboat) the negro said no, asked Sandy if he wanted to go to stay, Sandy told him no, that he had had no hand in bringing on the war, and was not going to have anything to do with it! Maybe none of our negroes will go, but we don’t know what might happen, it would I feel be far better for them to stay with us, but they don’t know that and I don’t blame them in the least for being dazzled by the false idea of freedom, ours go on just exactly as usual as yet, one who was hired in Monroe is gone to them we hear, the same who got drunk and was so impertinent to Willie the day we started to Georgia, and whom we sent back from the La Fourche.

There are six gunboats and no transports we hear now, the two that were sent up for the Twilight returned today without her, and sent up a smaller boat, I suppose of course the rest will remain until this one comes down. It is such a warm, delightful afternoon, the view from my open window is beautiful, the trees now in their prettiest spring garb, the foliage just enough developed to present charming varied tints of delicate green, and to let us look through the moving screen to new beauties beyond. The dogwoods have not yet faded, but the leaves on them are fast mingling green with the hitherto spotless white. Oh, how beautiful the earth is, well may we exclaim “man alone is vile.”

I do not feel at all well, think I must have taken cold, my face burns and my throat is quite parched, and I have a feeling of nausea and slight lightness of head, which is very disagreeable.

We went into school again this morning, after our long recess. Margaret Craig did not come as I expected, probably on account of the Yankee excitement. I do not feel at all afraid, am just beginning to realize that they are indeed in Monroe, we have no fear of their coming out this far.

Tuesday, April 12th. / 1864.

I have determined to keep a faithful journal of all I see and hear while the Yankees remain at Monroe. Maj. Waddill left here yesterday morning after breakfast to meet some gentlemen on business, he returned with them, there were three, not long afterwards, and after spending an hour in apparently earnest and animated conversation they all left together, soon afterwards Maj. Waddill’s servant returned with a note from his master stating that they were going on an expedition where they not be likely to meet with much refreshment for the “inner man” as he expressed it, and would be obliged if she would give his servant some bread and meat to cook for them, it appears that this note was only a polite subterfuge to avoid asking for a lunch for his hungry companions. Emmeline told Mother afterwards that she had heard one of the gentlemen say he had had nothing to eat for many hours. Mother was very sorry that she had not known it when they were here; she had sent them a bountiful lunch, however ready prepared, supposing that they were really going on an expedition. Maj. Waddill returned at night, said that one or two of those gentlemen with him lain in the woods all night with nothing for breakfast but a glass of buttermilk and a crust of biscuit. Mr. Ludeling from Monroe had come out to see Maj. Waddill in the morning, said that he was never placed in such a humiliating position in his life, as when in town, he was sitting in his office one day since they came, when a Yankee came up an the pavement before the door and walking up to Major Bry who was standing there made him an abolition speech, said that he was an abolitionist of the deepest dye, that there were four classes of men, the aristocrats or slave holders, the negroes, or slaves, the free negroes, the mules and lastly the poor white men, that he wanted to abolish the slaveholders, exterminate the slaves so as to give an opportunity for the poor white man to rise, this with a good deal more in the same formed his speech. I dare say these are the true sentiments of many a one, ’tis not the welfare of the poor negro they seek. They are taking all the cotton they can find without pretending to pay for it, One or two companies of our men were going about burning all the cotton a week or two ago, but the citizens were at that time very much opposed to it and a good deal was hidden away. Maj. Waddill is keenly interested about cotton, being the owner of a large quantity, says the Yankees have probably gotten two hundred bales since they came. Maj. Waddill says he heard that they forced away one of Mr. Lasar’s negroe men, though he begged to be allowed to remain with his master, this is I suppose an unusual case, at this raid I mean, I dare say by far the greater proportion have gone willingly, poor creatures, I pitty them from my heart.

Lieut. Pugh was here this morning, it was after we had gone into school and I did not see him, brought a fine turkey which he asked Mother to have cooked for them, they took it from Mr. Stamper, an old countryman back here, they met his this morning going in to the river with bale of cotton, some eggs and this turkey to trade with the Yankees of course, took the turkey themselves and I suppose turned him back with the rest.

This evening a man came over here from the Lieut. for a pair of scissors to cut hair, and soon afterwards another came to know if rather had any hand cuffs, that they had two Yankee prisoners. I am afraid Lieut. Pugh is not very trust worthy, I mean for a commander, he appears too rash, this taking of the prisoners may very likely bring the Yankees out here, unless they suppose our men in much stronger force than they really are. Never mind we can be brave I hope in actions as well as words. A man from the Company of pickets has just come to return the scissors, says that the men were not taken from the Yankees, but are two men whom they took up on the road, who say they belong to our artillery and whom they suppose to be deserters. Lieut. Pugh’s company, or rather squadron, is camped over here at Dr. Young’s house. I am so glad they caught those deserters how mean they must be, they were probably going to these gunboats. They say that several men from our guerilla band over in the swamp have deserted and come in to the Yankees.

I have been playing chess and writing so long this evening that I shall not have much time to finish the cuffs Mother left for me to do, I have not read any french this week, have been sewing, and Mother has been reading “No Name” to us, this is a book Miss Maggie Calderwood sent me the other day when I returned “Say and Seal.” I had hardly time to read it, but could not resist the temptation as it is by Wilkie Collins. I am as much interested in it as I was in the “Woman in White.” The weather brilliant and warm, the hills around are beautiful, I can find no words to express the enchanting picture like loveliness of the fresh and varied tints, when I look out I can’t take in the scene as I want to do, and I sigh to think how short a time it will last.

Friday night, April 15th.

I have allowed two days to pass without writing the news, the Yankees are gone, and I have been so busy that I have not been able before to chronicle this great event. We heard the news Tuesday evening and on Wednesday morning Father and Mother went to town, the Yankees had indeed gone, taking all the cotton they could get, and from five hundred to a thousand negroes, almost everyone in Monroe lost their house servants, and some lost all on their plantations. Mrs. Stevens had not one house servant left except her old carriage driver, Cuffy. Mrs. Tucker’s little servant girl did not go, but every one of Mrs. Stevens did. The day that Mother was there Mrs. Tucker and Mary prepared the dinner, their servants did not leave until Monday night and left everything prepared for breakfast. Scott was very honourable, she has her Misstresses Silver in her charge but took none of it away with her, I am so sorry for Mrs. Stevens, as I said before she has many companions in misfortune. Mrs. Garrett is the only lady who lost none. Five of the railroad negroes left, three of whom we thought the most faithful, Nate, Little Cuffy and Ike, who all, especially Nate, behaved so well on our way to Georgia. I believe he was promised a Captaincy, perhaps that allured him, we lost but one negro, Little Emmaline, who was hired in Monroe with her husband, a railroad boy, and left with him. Before leaving town the Yankees burned the Court house, the railroad bridge over the Ouachita and one other small public office, they did not trouble private property at all except to take all the cotton they could find. I was surprised to hear of so many negroes going, it is said that one woman killed her little baby, who was very sick, and she knew would keep her from going, many left their little babies on the plantation to go.

But let us leave this sad and sickening topic for one very dear and happy to me. Wednesday evening Eldridge came back from Homer and brought me two letters, one from Willie and one from Mrs. Morancy. Willie’s letter was very delightful to me, is so affectionate, he says he arrived in Homer about eleven o’clock Sunday morning and had gone to Church, then on the back of the envelope he says that he had been to Church that night and that he wishes that I could be there this week, they were going to have preaching every night. Oh, my dear Brother, are my long cherished hopes, my daily prayers to be realized, shall I see him happy in the way that I have desired for him with a great desire. God grant it may be so, I wish no better thing for him than that he may feel the love of Christ in his heart.

Mrs. Morancy’s letter was affectionate as ever, she tells me that Willie’s staying with them, says Mrs. Barr would take no excuse, she writes of the happiness of Mr. Bowmar Barr and his wife in their baby boy, I feel with them in this deepest, purest joy, it seems strange to think that Mr. Barr is no older than Willie.

Mrs. Mays spent the day with us yesterday, came for me to sew her hat. I was showing her about how to sew one for her little bay and had so many interruptions that I only finished the crown of her hat, have not worked any on it today, but shall try and finish it tomorrow. It has been disagreeably chilly today, fires were comfortable even at noon, Father and I took a ride this evening, saw such a beautiful haw tree in full bloom and gathered a quantity of the fragrant white wreaths, some of them are shedding their perfume through my room, combined with that of a rose that Mary sent me the other day, my little geranium is living and growing, my Valeria, it means so much to me as I look on its two delicate little leaves I am scarce refrain from caressing them, am only with held by the thought that my caress might hurt it. But my writing is becoming almost illegible, my eyes are tired and I must prepare for bed.

Wednesday, April 20th.

I did not know so many days had past since I opened my journal book, I have been intending to write every day but have not had time. Monday I received a long letter from Willie by Maj. Waddill and sat down to answer it immediately after dinner, it gave me great pleasure, described his habits of spending his time, was going that evening to Mrs. Bennett’s to tea and from there to Church. I was surprised by a letter from Miss Mattie Newcombe it was full of expressions of affection for me, of truly kind feeling for Willie, I have just been answering it. Shall I say what lies on my mind, yes surely here; I don’t like her extravagant sentimentalities to me when she has once or twice seemed wanting in common attention to my feelings and seems often constrained in my presence. I have been disappointed deeply in her and I cannot sincerely respond to extravagant expressions, yet I do feel truly grateful for hers and her Mother’s kindness to my dear Brother, and I know Mrs. Bennett would not leave anything undone for his comfort if he needed it, so how could I write otherwise than affectionately to her, and how could I do otherwise than say that I wished very much she would come and see us. I do like her very well and I should like to see her, and after their warm welcome to Willie I should be unkind and ungrateful not to extend the same to her, but it troubles me that I have written to her as “My dear friend” than which I could apply no better save to my dear Valeria. But let me take up events again. Margaret Craig came to school Monday, I find her well behaved and intelligent as I expected, and better informed than I hoped. She is the most deficient in reading, writing and arithmetic, the reading can soon be improved, the fault is chiefly in having been taught to assume a stilted, unnatural manner. The writing will be improved by practice, the arithmetic is the most serious difficulty, but she is attentive and desires to learn. I have put her with Eva who is just commencing both written and mental arithme (I had to put her back in the latter) and if Margaret is any slower to comprehend than Eva it will be a wonder.

Mr. Barr was here yesterday evening, brought a little note from his sister, asked me to go up with him tomorrow. I should like to go but don’t feel that I ought. Finished Mrs. May’s hat Saturday after a hard days work. Have been busy at odds and ends, and writing letters every afternoon this week, hope to commence reading again tomorrow. We have finished “No Name” some parts of it we very fine, but as a whole I do not like it as well as “The Woman in White.”

Miss Mary, Lory and I had a delightful walk yesterday evening for flowers, we gathered our hands full of Haw, Black haw and honeysuckle, and they were so beautiful. We have three vases full in the parlour, and I have two boquets in my room, one of wild flowers and one, such a sweet one, of roses, violets, and a lovely cluster of white haw, our beautiful and sweet roses are blooming finely now, I have gathered six or seven in the last three days, must go now to water my geranium.

I am a little troubled about my dear Father, he looks badly, has a dreadful cold in his head. I hope his spirits will rise after this great victory at Mansfield, it is a second Manassas oh! how thankful I am, it was so unhoped for, we did not dare to hope even to check the Yankees, and now we have triumphed, driven them back, it is said they have blown up two of their iron clads and it is thought that perhaps the whole fleet will be lost. The Red river is falling so rapidly and they have obstructed it near the raft by sinking one of their boats which grounded there coming up. The traitor Governor’s wife was on board the transport with a number of officers wives, who counted on a pleasant excursion to Shreveport, what a disappointment to them.

Sunday evening, April 24th.

I am often troubled about the course I ought to pursue towards the children in my daily intercourse with them. I have been thinking much about it today and I am afraid I have not been kind enough to them, I don’t mean that I have ever failed in love to them, indeed it is this very love, this intense desire that they should grow up virtuous, happy and well bred which makes me so eager to help them, and I see so many things every day to reprove that I fear I have reproved them too much, perhaps I have been too rigid, and have not made allowances enough. I ought to make them when I am so full of imperfections myself. I will try to be more loving in manner as well as in heart. I will try not to use authority but persuasion and to pass over slight faults however irritating they may be to me. Oh, I do so want to make them happy and yet I often seem to produce a contrary effect. What can I do? I can trust in my God, I can try always to keep my peace with Him, if I could do this I should never go wrong.

Monday April 25th.

This has been a delightful day and how sweet is its close, the last rays of the sun are streaming in at my open window and glistening on the foliage which clothes the hillside with almost the luxuriousness of summer verdure, for the woods look like it was summer, though it has for several days been quite cold, we need rain and had great hope of it Friday and Saturday but it is quite again now. Saturday Father, Miss Mary and I went into Monroe, we spent a very pleasant day, we enjoyed seeing the gardens all flushed with roses which seemed doubly beautiful to us because we had seen so few. I went to see Miss Maggie Calderwood when we first went in, spent a very pleasant hour or two with her and then drove to Mrs. DeLary’s for Miss Mary but found her at Mrs. Jos. McGuire’s, stopped a few minutes there. Miss Mary had determined to spend the day with her, while we were looking at the roses in the garden Father and Mr. Duvall walked up. I had not seen Mr. Duvall before since we left him at Millhaven. When I drove up to Mrs. Stevens Mary met me at the door with her usual sweet smile and kiss, the rest of the morning was passed in pleasant conversation and in looking at their garden, which was one bed of bright flowers.

All the morning was not thus passes though, I heard some sad news, the death of Mrs. Dortche’s brother, Capt. Martin, in the last battle, and several others that I knew by name but not personally. I had no friend to be killed it is true, but my heart bleeds for those who have been so bereaved by the many, many killed in that bloody fray which has preserved to us our peaceful homes. Captain Martin died nobly, the colour bearer had been three times shot, as the third one fell he stood near him and raised the flag in his hand, he had not made more than three steps before he fell, two balls had penetrated his stomach and one his shoulder, he lived for several days, said that he had wished if it were necessary to give his life for our cause, and that if he saw the way before him again with the end in full view he would not hesitate. Poor Mrs. Dortch, his glorious death cannot now comfort her, she must think those sad words “He died in his glory, but oh! he has died.”

We hear many rumours but know nothing certainly about the position of the enemy, the time before is anything but a time of rest, the war cry resounds on all sides, its distant notes come from Virginia, from Kentucky and from the shores of the Atlantic, while nearer home its thunders appall us. What has this year in store for us. Oh that it may bring peace, how calm, how soft this evening hours, the distant cooing of the dove, the chirping of the little chickens under my window, the bright rays which shed a soft dying light over all, how can believe that this evening so many are losing in mortal strife, or groaning and tossing on the wounded soldier’s pallet.

My room is perfumed by a glass full of roses and pinks on my desk. Our friends in Monroe gave us so many roses when we came away, they did not know what a precious gift it was. I filled a large bowl with them and I never saw a more beautiful boquet, or rather pyramid of flowers, we hung over them in extasy and came again and again to admire and enjoy. Our few rose bushes in the garden are blooming beautifully. Father had a trellis put up before the piazza the other day, and we have commenced to train the honeysuckle on it. The jessamine is not grown enough for that yet, it is putting out finely.

Eldridge returned from Homer last night, brought a letter from Willie and one from Miss Mat Newcombe. Willie says he hopes to be able to come home the last of this week, I hope he will, we shall be so glad to see him again, it seems like two months since he left instead of two weeks; he is in good spirits, dear fellow, sent home a new mare, says he hopes we will have peace in time for him to drive his greys this fall. I wish it might be, but I can hardly hope it.

Miss Mat seemed not to have the slightest idea of any tinge of coldness in my letter to her, I am glad she had not, hers is as warm as the last, says she and her sister hope to come down soon. I was very much disappointed by not getting letter or even a message from Mrs. Morancy, I expect she is going to write by Willie.

Friday, April 29th.

This long day is almost ended, I have been so weak and sick all day that I shall welcome the shades of evening, it is Eva’s birthday, and in honour of her we have holiday. This morning immediately after breakfast we all took a little walk to gather flowers, got a quantity of the beautiful graceful blossoms of the “Old man’s beard” tree and in coming home stopped at Dr. Young’s and gathered our hands full of the honeysuckle that grows over the piazza. We have the parlour full of flowers, two small boquets and two large ones. I did not enjoy the walk much, when we reached the “Old man’s beard” tree I felt too badly to stand up and the walk home was a painful effort. After arranging the flowers I took my seat in a large rocking chair with “Lamartine” but though I was very much interested in the pathetic story of “Jocelyn” I could not read, a dreadful weakness overpowered me and I felt exertion impossible, while even quiet was pain, how glad I was that this was a holiday. I lay down on the sofa in the parlour and everything about the room was so quiet, the breath of the flowers so sweet as the gentle breeze bore their perfume to my couch that I could not but feel repose, and after several hours spent between waking and sleeping I took up my back again a little refreshed but very weary still.

Mr. Barr came here on business about the iron that he is getting from the burned railroad bridge, stayed to dinner, is coming back to spend the night with us. I was very much indisposed to see anybody, but roused myself a little, feel better this evening, hope this dreadful lassitude will be over tomorrow. I have been expecting and hoping for Willie all the week. I wish so much he would come tonight, I expect him very confidently, there is no reason to prevent his coming they are doing nothing at Homer.

Mother went up to Mrs. Brinton’s Wednesday for her spinning wheels, did not return until yesterday, to dinner, we missed her very much indeed. She took Loring with her, they brought me a beautiful white Texas pink (wild pholx) the first I over saw, brought two roots of the “Traveller’s Delight.” I set them out but scarce dare to hope they will live after having lost so many vines. It has been very warm for several days past, summer is here in earnest now, we need rain very much indeed, if it would only rain everything would grow beautifully, I water my little garden every evening. My delicate little geranium has begun to grow quite fast, has lost all it’s old leaves and has three green, healthy looking new ones, the two heliotropes are also doing very well. Our few rose bushes are blooming abundantly, I gather a large bunch of roses every morning.

The good news from the army still comes in, we heard of a gallant exploit of Price’s today, the taking, killing or dispersing of three thousand Yankees, have no particulars yet. Forrest is still doing good service in Tennessee and Kentucky, our prospects are good at Richmond, all sides look bright after the great darkness which has so long hung over our beloved South.

I have just come from witnessing the children’s little party, they had a table set under the trees down at the foot of the gently sloping grove, and there the four sat, Eva, Loring, George and John, all as happy and contented as possible. Miss Mary and I sat and looked on, Eva is fourteen today, I often look at her and think how different she is from me at that age, she is a perfect child, with all the naievet� of ten years old, she has no idea of self control.

Lately in my moments of bodily weakness the sad thought comes over me that I am losing my youth, it is more a hypochondriacal fancy than anything else I expect. I have never had any beauty, I have always known and sadly known that I was ugly, but I have lost my color, my eyes are often surrounded by a purple band of coloring, my hair used to be the only beautiful thing about me, and now it has fallen out till it is not more than half as thick as formerly. I can’t walk fast or walk at all without being exhausted by it and these frequent seasons of unconquerable lassitude incline me to fretfulness. I fancy that my voice is getting shrill, it is not so strong as it used to me, I know. Oh what a terrible picture, it is only to relieve myself that I draw it, it may provoke a smile in some better day to read over these querolous complainings. No one would recognize these changes but myself, and therefore they must be in a great degree imaginary. I can’t bear to think on the want of energy I perceive in myself, I find it an effort to keep myself properly dressed. It in true I have not much to dress in, but I might look better than I do, must go and change my red calico for a thinner dress.

Saturday night, April 30th.

The rain, the longed for rain has come at last, and how softly it falls upon the thirsty earth, how I wish it were day that I could watch it, it is delightful thus though, and I will not be so ungrateful as to wish for anything more, the smell of the rain comes up from the earth speaking its gratitude. All the evening the clouds have been gathering and since supper the rain has commenced, gentle at first but growing faster and faster, it sounds like one of these delightful slow and general rains, I hope it will last all night. I have such a beautiful bowl of flowers again, Father went to Monroe this morning and Mary sent me a boquet and a note saying that her Aunt was sick in bed and that she was quite uneasy about her, and this evening Miss Maggie Calderwood and Miss Laura Barnes brought me a large and beautiful boquet. I did not see them, Miss Mary and I had walked over to Mrs. Lidwell’s to see Miss Anna Moore and they met Mother, as it was very late and they had come principally to see Mother on business, they did not come on. They brought a note from Mrs. Dortch requesting Mother to take her to board this summer, Mother refused of course, it would be too great a care entirely for Mother in these times and in her health.

I have felt miserably again today, but hope I shall be better tomorrow, this rain is so delightful. There was a young lady here this evening who is on her way to Missouri, their ambulance wheel broke and they stopped to have it mended, she was in New Orleans when it fell, has not seen her Mother for four years! her father has come for her and she is going home with him, had been staying in Shreveport, had met Mrs. McClay and Mrs. Walker there, said she thought that none of Gen. Walker’s staff were killed in this last battle.

Willie has not come yet, I have been hoping and looking for him all day.

Tuesday, May 3rd. 1864.

I have just finished my late dinner after having been asleep all the morning. Sunday evening Mother, Miss Mary and I went to see Mrs. Hawkins, a poor woman whose only child is very ill, we found the poor little girl at the point of death as we thought, yesterday evening Mother and I went down again, the child was no better and the poor Mother was quite worn out with watching and care. She had no one to sit up that night, and I resolved to stay. Mrs. Lidwell afterwards came over and we persuaded Mother to go to bed, exhaustion conquered her and she slept soundly all night while Mrs. Lidwell and I kept watch. The poor little girl has been sick in bed four weeks, and for a week past has taken scarcely any nourishment, she lay quietly almost all night. I felt so sorry for her, she must be a beautiful child in health, her eyes are large and black, and she has silky golden hair, even attenuated as they are her features are beautiful. She is only six years old, has been afflicted since her infancy with a partial deafness and dumbness caused from scarlet fever, her head is now drawn back and paralized so that she keeps it constantly in a painful position, it seems like it would be a mercy for God to take her to heaven but our poor earthly eyes cannot see this. Just before day Mrs. Lidwell thought she was dying and woke up her Mother, the poor woman wept and sobbed in an agony of grief, we stood by powerless to comfort or help while it seemed to me that my breast heaved in unison with every sobbing, laboured breath that little Sallie drew. In about a half hour she rallied a little, and we left Mrs. Hawkins with a promise to return this evening.

The morning was fresh and beautiful, the sun was just rising and his earliest rays fell on a scene of exquisite freshness and beauty, gilding the shining green leaves of the oaks and the dusky tops of the pines above, while the wheat field and the road lay in dewy shadow. As I walked slowly homeward I thought of how many such mornings I have risen and looked out on all this beauty, many a time with a glad worshipping heart, but ah too many times with a dimming care and a heart full of my own little daily troubles, not thinking of how many wake every morning to bitter or despairing sorrow. I am afraid I have been too selfish and have confined my cares my hopes too much to the circle of home, I might have done much more, at least I might have thought much more and might have prayed and trusted more than I have done.

Father went to Millhaven yesterday morning, we do not expect him back until tonight, perhaps he may not come then. Willie has not come yet, Mr. Barr is going to send a servant to Homer Thursday and I shall write to Willie by him. Mr. Barr spent last night here and breakfasted with us this morning. Loring and Eve were a little unwell yesterday and the night before, have recovered now. The weather has been quite cool since the shower we had Saturday night, last night we were afraid there would be frost, but there was none.

Night — I returned from Mrs. Hawkins’ late this evening, her little girl was still breathing. Oh how sorrowful to see her lie thus, her breath coming gaspingly, and her poor weary eyes seeming dimmed by the shadow of death. I did not think she would have stayed so long, soon she will be one of Heaven’s angels. Our Father knows when to call his children home. When I look at this dying little child how all my cares, my sorrows and my restless yearning fall away from me, what matter is it what troubles we pass through if we only bear them so that we shall be taken to God at last.

Wednesday, May 11th.

I have not had time to write any for the last week and am now filching a few minutes from my sleeping time. Last Thursday evening we were delighted by the arrival of Willie and Miss Mat Newcombe and her sister. I was so glad to see Willie, he looks perfectly well and his visit has given me great pleasure. The young ladies too, I like them so much better than when they came down, they are both very pleasant and amiable girls. I think Mattie has a very sweet disposition, thus do my feelings change with acquaintance, I ought never to form a hasty judgement. We have been to ride every evening since they came. Sunday we went to town to Church, Miss Mary, Shep & Willie went to the Catholic and Mattie and I to the protestant Church. We heard a very feeling sermon from Mr. McGuire, and one which affected me deeply. It was decided Saturday that I am to go to Homer with the young ladies, we leave tomorrow.

Mattie and Shep spent Monday and Tuesday in town, we have all been working hard today getting me ready for my visit. I had two dresses to make, they are beautiful patterns but are from Yankee land and I shall not on that account take pleasure in wearing them, should not have taken them but that Father had bought them and wished me to wear them, and I thought I could not disregard a positive duty for one which is perhaps doubtful.

Mr. Gordon brought the things from Vicksburg, some coffee, tea, cloth and actually some fruit. I am ashamed to write it, I could not bear to eat those things. The night after they came I went to sit up at Mrs. Hawkins’ and at Father’s urgent request took an orange with me, which I shared at midnight with the other woman who was watching with me then; at supper the next night I was afraid to wound Father’s feelings by refusing the piece of pineapple he offered me, but it did me no good. Mrs. Hawkins’ little child died Sunday, I have not been able to go to see her since, have not had a moment to spare. We had a little rain Monday.

I can’t sit up any longer, it is already late, my next date will be in Homer; I feel like I was going far off, can’t bear to think of taking leave of them all for two whole weeks. Tonight when I was thinking about it the thought came over me, suppose I was called to the last bitter parting, suppose God should call me to Him. Oh the bitterness of that hour, but “Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Oakland, June 8th. Wednesday.

It has been almost a month since I last wrote here and in that time I have been and returned from Homer. I cannot pretend to give anything like a daily record of my visit, it seems to me like I had written it all, and I would have done so had not every hour been filled up with visiting, receiving visits or conversation, except the many hours when an overwhelming weariness of body made one indisposed even for pleasure.

We left for Homer Thursday evening as we anticipated, went only a few miles and spent the night with a friend and relative of Mattie Newcomb’s, Mrs. Lawler, we did not leave there until eleven o’clock the next morning, journeyed on slowly until we came to a fine shady place near an excellent spring, we were hungry and so chose this place for eating our basket dinner. I felt very weak and sick but a little lunch refreshed so very much, we took out our late Yankee papers, read some and talked more, then slept a little and by that time Antony was ready to “hitch up” the mules again. Our evening journey over hill and dale was very pleasant, the day was not too warm, the sun shone brightly, the road was well shaded and we had a company of four young people bound on pleasant journey, what more could we need. Ah youth, what a priceless blessing it is, would that I might be always young! The country through which we travelled was very much like our own immediate neighbour, poor and hilly but few fields and these few generally left uncultivated by the removal of their owners, the houses far between and badly built. Towards sunset we came into a prettier and better country, saw one or two very pretty little houses, came up to Col. Gilson’s, one of the few stopping places on the road, it was early, but it was seven miles to the next stopping place so Willie went in to ask if we might stay all night, they said they had a houseful of sick soldiers, so we yielded of course, and drove on towards Vienna.

This is one of the poorest, meanest little places I ever saw, there is a so called “Hotel” there, but we had heard such accounts of it that we were by no means anxious to stay. As we drove up the long hill on which Vienna is situated we saw a man leaning on a large bay horse which stood at the side of the road without either saddle or bridle, as we came up he turned a bold face to us and stared right into the carriage, after we passed he turned again and continued his impertinent gaze until we were out of sight, then mounted his horse side wise, and passing us looked again, whistling all the time. We drove up to the only nice looking house in Homer, situated a little back in a garden, the residence of a Dr. Stuart. Willie went in to ask if we could stay all night, a young woman came down the path, evidently expecting an acquaintance. She was dressed in white with flowing sleeves and had on a black silk apron, her arms looked so cold and unfeeling when she said we could not stay, it was now nearly dark, as we turned from the gate we met the same impudent young man, who again gazed at us. In perfect disgust with Homer we drove rapidly through the one little street, by the time we reached the bottom of the hill the moon’s pale light shone down on us. We had then four miles to go, we did not mind it much as it was a bright moon light, and went on talking and singing until we saw the friendly lights from Mr. Greens. When we got out of the carriage we were three folorn looking women, I was so tired that I could hardly stand. We went right in through the narrow piazza to the parlor, which was lighted by some pine knots in the fireplace. Mat and Shep were acquainted with the family, they introduced me but my name was not understood and as the old man took my hand he gave me a keen look from under his heavy black brows and said, “what did they say your name was?” when I told him, he instantly remembered to have met my Father. He is said to be one of the richest men in Jackson parish, or indeed in this section of country, but his surroundings are miserable, the rooms at his house small and dirty, the furniture of the commonest kind; his daughter has been to school and has a very fine piano on which she plays tolerably and she also sings very well. Hanging up on the unceiled wall of her room were some very elegant dresses, on a little table in the parlour were some very handsome books, the fine bindings all spoiled with dirt. The table was furnished with a variety and abundance far superior to ours, but oh so badly cooked and served. I could not bear to drink out of the dingy glasses, and had no appetite for the greasy food handed on a coarse plate; however we were very thankful for the shelter, they were very much crowded but we slept very soundly three in a bed.

The next day we left as soon after breakfast as possible, we had a delightful days ride through a beautiful hill country, sometimes we would come to the summit of a lofty hill, the road wound red and rough through the green woods an its side, in the valley waved small fields of wheat and rye, glistening green in the sunlight or lying darker in shade of the opposite hill, a little stream ran across the road and beyond the hill rose in terraces, below a wood of oak and hickory with their bright gleaming foliage, and crowning the summit a ridge of dark pines rising distinct against the clear sky, this sky was a deep blue with light shaded clouds floating in it and casting a transient shade on the smiling landscape beneath. I have described one scene, there were many others almost equally pretty, sometimes the waving grain was exchanged for fields of young corn.

The road was very rough and much washed into gullys, we were obliged to get out of the carriage and walk down most of the hills. We ate a hearty dinner in the cool shade, and then drove on to Homer, which we reached about sunset. Mrs. Bennet received me with cordiality, I was exceedingly fatigued and was glad when the hour for retiring approached. As usual the first night found me homesick and weary, in the morning we were to go to Church but Churchill’s division was passing, the young ladies wished to see it, and we did not go. At dinner a very equisite note came from Mr. Kimball inviting me to go to Church with him that night, or I should have said requesting the pleasure of my company. I accepted, and heard a very good sermon which my weariness prevented my appreciating —

I was so tired I had to stop just there, and do not now feel like taking up the record again, but must just say how delightful it is to be at home. We only arrived yesterday evening, I have been putting to rights today and now at the twilight hour everything in so pleasant in my room, everything in the garden has grown beautifully, my little flower garden is so sweet, and my dear little geranium so luxuriant. I wrote to Valeria while in Homer, it was a painful pleasure, Mr. Gordon kindly sent the letter to Mr. Cassidy who had promised to forward it.

Thursday, June 9th.

Sunday evening I went up to Mrs. Barr’s, was so glad to see them and met such a warm welcome. I do love Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Morancy, I never knew a lovelier character than Mrs. Barr’s. I remained at Mrs. Bennett’s a week, while there received a good many calls from different young ladies, took several very pleasant rides. One evening Mr. Kimball called to accompany me, I had a delightful ride, a slight shower had just washed the dust from the trees and we went along a very pretty road, we mutually exerted ourselves to please, and discoursed at large on the beauties of nature, he described several beautiful scenes in the White mountains, and we found some places which we knew in common. I have rarely met a pleasanter companion, but he lacks that indefinable, that subtle essence of manhood without which refinement, culture and taste all leave a visible lack in a man. The strength, the decision and fearless uprightness of a true man, what can equal it?

We had a little surprise party at Mrs. Bennett’s while I was there, about fourteen ladies and more gentlemen were present, the evening passed quickly and delightfully and three o’clock came before departure was thought of, the stars were beginning to fade when I went to rest.

The next day I went to Mrs. Barr’s, spent the day in company with Major Street, he was probably fatigued from the party, at any rate he was very dull. I was enjoying one of my best days, was neither tired nor sleepy. That week at Mrs. Barr’s was one of great enjoyment to me, it is delightful to be with those who never offend the taste by any lack of refinement, towards whom the heart goes out in perfect trust and love, such are Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Morancy to me, I have but one dearer friend than they, this dearest and best I need not speak her name; my love, my life, the memory of the dead is linked with hers, when I can see her again I shall have no concealments. I have never gone to her and not met with the fullest love, the most perfect sympathy. I wrote her a long letter at Mrs. Barr’s but oh! how poor and powerless is a letter when one has a whole year to speak of, and such a year as this has been to me.

While at Mrs. Barr’s we borrowed “Shirley” from Mattie Newcombe, I read it aloud, some parts of it spoke so to my heart that I seemed to breathe out myself in reading them. The book has some great imperfections but I like it very much for all that. Mrs. Bowmar Barr left with her husband for Monroe the day after I went there, she is now here, has been staying with Mother ever since she came down, her baby in a very pretty and good little fellow.

I was much more pleased with Julia while at Homer than ever before, she is not a friend in that high sense in which the word should only be used, but her many good qualities make me like her in spite of the prejudices which were engendered by her surface faults. The day after I expected Father and Miss Mary I received a note from her saying that as Father was coming from Millhaven with one of the mules he was going to drive to Shreveport, the mule kicked up and struck Father with his hoof on one side of the nose, breaking the bone and cutting a great gash, she wrote that Father was getting much better and would be up soon, that his principal trouble was about my disappointment and a fear of my being anxious about him. I was indeed quite anxious but the next day, Friday, as we were sitting reading after dinner, the ambulance drove up with Father and Miss Mary. I was so glad to see them, and rather was very much better though I was shocked at the swollen appearance of his nose, and the dreadful gash all down one side of it, what a mercy that he was not struck on the temple or in the eye, it just escaped his eye. Father remained at Mrs. Barr’s until the next morning, when he left for Shreveport and Marshall, Mr. Gordon was with him. Mr. Gordon told me that he had heard that Mr. Ridgill had removed either to Demopolis or Selma. Mr. Tom Williams, a gentleman from Homer was going across the river and I wrote two notes to Valeria, one at each of the above places and a letter to Grandma and Aunt Mary. Miss Mary and I went down to Mrs. Bennett’s Saturday morning and remained till Monday. These two days were by no means pleasant, Saturday morning I spent in writing letters and was very much worried about Willie. In the first place I was worried about his being at Homer and having nothing to do, and in the second I thought I saw too much preference for Shep Bennett in his manner, this combined with my physical weariness caused the day to be anything but pleasant to me. I am so weak hearted, and place so little real Faith in God, that I am often needlessly troubled, with a few days these transient clouds dispersed. Willie had been ordered to remain in Homer until particular orders could be received from Col. Harrisson, but was very much in hopes he would obtain leave to return the negroes to Father and himself join his company. I had reason too to believe that his transient fancy for Shep had subsided. But other causes of trouble remained far more deeply seated. I find myself a second time disappointed in Mattie Newcomb, I easily deceive myself and so slow of comprehension, when she was down here I thought I could really respond to the liking which she so warmly professed. I have no doubt that she in sincere in these expressions, if I had I would not mind it so much, but it is impossible for me to count her among my intimate friends, she is so shallow, her sentiment is of such a technical surface kind, she sometimes offends my eye and ear by her manners or language, and seems so wanting in religious feeling or in any of the deepest feelings of our nature; she is not without many good qualities, not without affection, but there is throughout a lack of depth and discrimination that makes it impossible for us to mingle intimately. I like her very well as an acquaintance, but she speaks as if we were intimates, she seems to desire it, and her own expressions seem to have left me in some sort pledged to her, if I break this intimacy shall I not myself seem to have been acting a hypocritical part? I cannot tell her I feel deep friendship for her, yet what can I say when she tells me so? But let me leave the speculations for more apparent facts.

The week of Miss Mary’s stay was divided between Mrs. Barr’s and Mrs. Bennett’s, we spent one day with Mrs. Scarborough, I had been twice to see them before, was very glad to meet them again. Tabitha is as kind as ever but her face has taken a still more pensive cast and her girlish beauty is much impaired. I am afraid her married life is not happy, her husband is an inferior man in every respect, and is besides, a gambler. I do not see how she can either love or respect him. On Saturday evening we were delighted by seeing Father again, he and Mr. Gordon spent the night at Mrs. Bennett’s. Father was very much fatigued, his nose was much improved but one his eyes was badly inflamed. The next morning we all went to Church, the sermon was not good, and it was excessively warm. Father and Mr. Gordon dined at Mrs. Barr’s and spent the night there, we went up to tell Mrs. Barr’s family goodbye in the afternoon, a rain came up on our return but the curtains of the ambulance were down and we did not get wet. We had a delightful rain that evening, it was very much needed and everything and everybody rejoiced in it.

Monday morning we left as soon as we could on our way home. It was a cloudy morning and when we had gotten about three miles we had quite a little shower, about an hour afterwards the rain commenced again and just poured down, it drove steadily against us, soon the gullys at the side of the road were full of roaring streams, here and there we saw a perfect waterfall, while the road was just one sheet of water flowing on in waves, of course our progress was extremely slow, I did not get wet much, Miss Mary and I were safe except our dresses which got a little wet and very much tumbled. Father was quite dry too, but Mr. Gordon and Jerry were the sufferers, they sat in front and although Mr. Gordon had a blanket over his knees he got quite wet. Before twelve o’clock the rain ceased and when we found a good place we stopped to eat dinner, in an hour or two we started again and plodded slowly on, it was yet more than an hour before sunset when we came to Mr. Green’s, the next stopping place was eight miles on, but Miss Mary and I had such a distaste to stopping at Mr. Green’s again that we went on. About a half mile on we met Maj. Waddill, he was going up to Homer to meet his wife, but when we told him that she was not there he said he would not go on but would probably come back to Mr. Gibson’s after a short business interview with Mr. Green, so we went on slowly. It was almost sunset when we reached Vienna, Mr. Gordon took the reins and drove as fast as possible. The dark fell before we reached Mr. Gibson’s, it was cloudy and not a star shed “quivering light” upon our uncertain way. Miss Mary and I began to regret not having stopped at Mr. Green’s, at length the lights from Col. Gibson’s shone through the thickening darkness. Maj. Waddill drove up almost at the same time with us, said he would not impair Father’s chances of a lodging by going in at the same time. Father descended from the ambulance with many exhortations from us all to be very eloquent, notwithstanding this his errand was unsuccessful, he said we might stay if it were not for the young ladies, so of course we had to drive on. Maj. Waddill was accepted, we left him standing in the dark with “I regret exceedingly, ladies” on his lips. The next mile was over the muddy, rough road in the dark, Jerry got out and walked ahead, to find the bad places. At length we came to the next inhabited place, the lights burned faintly, our suspense was dreadful while Father held a parley which we could not hear. What was our relief when we heard the welcome words, “Gordon drive up here,” so up we drove guided by the voice, the people were all gone to bed, the gentleman of the house came out with a lantern by which light we descended and walked up the short path to the house. I never was so grateful for a night’s shelter in my life, I was tired to death and when the young lady showed us into a little room with white curtains to the one window, and a white counterpane on the plump bed, I could not help giving vent to my gratitude. There was a nice little white basin and pitcher and linen towels, the room was only about twelve feet square but everything was so nice that Miss Mary and I were enchanted. We had soon stretched our weary limbs and were fast asleep. The next morning we had a very good plain breakfast, everything neat. The young lady of the house was quite a nice intelligent person, and her Mother and Father were very kind, they were very moderate in the charge, only asked ten dollars for us all, and the mules were well fed, we were glad that we had not stopped at Col. Gibson’s which we hear is not a good place. I forgot to say that Mr. Gordon lost his mule at Greenwood, not far from Shreveport, it was very unfortunate, but very fortunately they found a man in Shreveport who had a horse he wanted to send to Monroe, so Father put him in beside the other mules. At Mr. Mayfield’s (where we stopped all night) Jerry lost his knife, which is a negroe’s greatest treasure, he was very such distressed about it. After we started we found that he had had no breakfast and Father took out our lunch basket to give him some ham and bread, we had had a large piece of cake in it, but when I lifted the towel which should have contained it there was none there. At first I suspected Father and Mr. Gordon of having taken it for supper, but they looked so innocently surprised that we had to suppose some negro had pilfered it, everything else in the basket was all right, as Jerry munched his bread and meat he muttered, “bad luck, Mule lost, knife lost, cake gone, pipe lost and like to turn over, don’t like to travel.” We all laughed heartily at his enumeration and concluded that poor Jerry was, next to Mr. Gordon, the greatest sufferer by the trip. Father, it is true, had broken his nose, but flesh will heal. We arrived at home by three o’clock, were so glad to get here again, the house looked so large and the parlour had such an elegant air to our eyes, while I felt quite lost in the hall. We found Mr. and Mrs. Barr still here, Mr. Beck and Miss Mary had been to pay Mrs. Barr a visit, just left last week, I was so sorry I could not have seen Miss Mary. Eva had been very sick with the chills and looked quite pale, Mother said she was so weak she could not hold up her head and Miss Beck nursed her like a sister. Loring too has had the chills since I left, he looks badly, but George and John are as well as ever, George seems to have grown so much since I left. I shall not commence school until Monday, am anxious for the day to come. It has been showery both yesterday and today, and quite warm, this weather makes everything grow, my little geranium looks beautiful.

Thursday, June 16th./

I have been intending to write here all the week but have not had time. Mother was taken with the diptheria Friday evening and has been sick ever since, the doctor cauterized her throat for the last time Tuesday morning, her case was taken in time and was not severe, she has not yet left her room, is still quite weak, but her throat is well.

Mr. Bowmar Barr and his wife and baby left here Sunday, being afraid of the diptheria for their little one. Mrs. Barr went to Mrs. Dortch’s to stay until her husband could get a boarding place for her. Sunday night we were all very tired and retired early. Miss Mary and I had not gone to bed when we heard the steps of two men in the hall, we were slightly startled but they proved to be Mr. Barr and his brother-in-law Mr. Beck. Mrs. Dortch had no room for them and they had come here to stay all night. They remained to breakfast, I liked Mr. Beck very much indeed, he is not at all handsome. Mrs. Barr came to breakfast with her brother, as he was going to return home immediately; she went to Mrs. Stubbs that day, she is going to board there.

We were surprised by a visit from Capt. Oliver Tuesday, he was on his way to Trenton, “the Post” is at last moving down. Capt. Oliver stayed to dinner, said that Willie would probably be on that night, so we expected him, but went to bed disappointed. I was gladdened the next morning however by hearing from Rose that Willie had come about ten o’clock, I had slept so soundly that his coming was unheard. He brought many loves from everybody, and a very affectionate note from Mrs. Morancy to me. Mother has been very much troubled for fear Willie might have fallen in love with Shep Bennett; I think she has no cause for uneasiness, at one time while in Homer I feared the same, but I hope the fancy was fleeting, she is too old for him, and I don’t think she would make him a good wife, perhaps I hope too much for him, it seems to me it would almost break my heart for him to marry her; he has not been very well lately and has become thinner, probably owing to the warm weather. Mr. Newcomb, Mrs. Bennett’s oldest son, called yesterday evening, we kept him with us all night, and he and Willie left together after breakfast this morning. Father is not very well today, had an attack of dizziness and could eat but little breakfast, but insisted on going in to Monroe. We don’t expect him back till after dinner. It is very warm today, we have not had a shower for two whole days.

Saturday, June 18th.

I happened this morning to glance at a portion of my journal written soon after the fall of New Orleans; how dark the times were then! and oh how trebly dark there were this winter, but now light has at last dawned and in such a bright promise of a sunlight day, at last the tremulous hope of peace begins to flutter in our hearts. We hear on every side rumours of victories in the South, of disaffection and open rebellion in the north; we have reason to think that this year something decisive may be done. With prayerful anxiety we expect news from Virginia and Georgia, where our noble veteran troops an contesting hardly for the great cause, the Yankees seem to be hurling all their strength on to crush our noble Virginia army and possess Richmond. We have heard of bloody battles, of brilliant victories, but we know little with certainty, our confidence in Lee has never once faltered, may he prove again victorious!

We have heard that a resolution has passed the lower house in the Yankee Congress proposing to open negotiations for peace, this is too good to believe. The four years of Lincoln’s administration are drawing to a close, we have looked forward to this as affording prospects for peace, and now the state of affairs in the north seem to justify the words of President Davis’ last message in which he expresses an opinion that the war will end during the year. Long, of Ohio, has made a speech in the Federal Congress in which he advocates in the boldest and strongest manner that the Confederate States shall be recognized and propositions made for peace. He frankly declares the right of secession, condemns coercion as wrong in principle and effect, and pronounces Lincoln alike a fool and a knave, all this in the forcible, moderate manner which speaks conviction not passion to be the motive of his words, if there were many such man in the Federal Congress our hopes would be assured. From these great national interests which are so absorbing, I descend to the small but to us important events of our own lives.

Mother left her room for the first time yesterday morning, she is not yet strong, I am afraid this debility will cling round her all summer. Mr. Gordon came out Thursday evening, remained all night. The next morning Father went down to Millhaven in the buggy, Georgie asked to go, and Father delighted him by consenting. John then came with his petition and to our extreme surprise Father again consented. Loring then put in his plea to go to take care of the two little ones and drive, so Father went off with a buggy full of little boys. John looked so happy and cunning sitting up on the butter bucket. Willie now comes home to his meals and to stay at night, he is having the hands out wood for coals, down at “Camp Qui vive," about three miles from here. I hope he will get out of this business some time or other, he is anxious to leave but I fear something will happen to keep him there. As I write I hear the noise of teamsters driving cotton wagons by; two Yankee boats have been to Monroe, ostensibly to take down the cotton which belongs to Maynard, a frenchman who bought it from the government and paid in government neccessaries, but there is a clique of men about Monroe, composed of Maj. Waddill, Mr. Ludeling, Capt. Crosely and Mr. Barr and some others who are mysteriously intimate on the Yankee boats, and it is strongly suspicioned that they are carrying on some great rascality. Father says that he thinks it would be very well if every citizen were allowed to barter their cotton with Yankees, because then they would pursue their own interest, and get what is more valuable than cotton, but to allow sharpers to thus enrich themselves while honest men are debarred seems very wrong. The second boat has not yet gone down, and there is serious talk of burning it before it leaves.

Monday, June 27th.

We were delightfully surprised last Friday by Dr. McDonough’s arrival, he came while we were at dinner, we were very glad indeed to see him, he and Father went in to Monroe Saturday, the Doctor did not come out till late in the evening. He remained with us yesterday, left this morning immediately after breakfast. I finished plaiting Jenny Morancy’s hat Saturday, sent it up today by Berry, one of the negroes who is going up with a wagon train. I am not at all satisfied with the plait, it in not as nice as I have done, but I have been so long out of practice in braiding that it is difficult for me to do it. I am going to commence making a pair of corsets for dear Mrs. Barr this evening, and then I have a hat to sew for Willie and one for Louis Stevens and one for Sandy, after this I hope to be over my press of work for a time.

Eva has had the chills again, looks very badly, her system is in a low state, she imagines she has the diptheria and many other things. I am very anxious about her health, we have persuaded Mother to take a trip up the country with her, she contemplates leaving in a week or two, both she and Eva need the change. They expect to take Homer, Mt. Lebanon, Minden and Vernon in their way. Loring has also had the chills, but we succeeded in breaking them last week, this morning we had a full school for the first time, all my pupils did themselves credit.

It is very warm, we begin to need a shower already though it is not more than four days since we had one, we have been very much blessed in showers for the past month; the vegetables are doing well, we had Okra soup today for the first time this summer. One of our heliotropes is blooming prettily now, my geranium is also doing well, but the ants have eaten up half the bed of portulacca, and I am very much afraid they will trouble my geranium.

Father has been having the piazza floored in front of the house, it is a great luxury to have it to sit on in the morning and evening, though it is too sunny at this hour, or at any time between seven and six o’clock, it gives quite a different character to the front of the house.

We hear today of a new victory gained by Lee over Grant, I hope it may be true and I believe it is, we hardly recognize the possibility of Lee’s being defeated. I think tremblingly of John and Angus, they must have been in these late battles if Indeed they had not fallen before; Oh that I could hear from them.

Tuesday, June 28th.

I received two letters by Mr. Newcomb yesterday evening, one very affectionate and welcome from Mrs. Morancy, she tells me that she has at last in earnest commenced to wean Jennie, and that they are both much better for it. I am glad indeed that this is so; Mrs. Morancy also writes that Julia and Miss Creath expect to come down next week. I wish it might be Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Morancy, though I like Julia much better than I used, and shall like a visit from her. My acquaintance with Miss Creath is very slight, and has not left a favourable impression upon me. My other letter was from Mattie Newcomb, written in high flown style of sentiment with hardly a single rational sentence in it, this is grievous to me, I must do my best to preserve my own sincerity untainted. Oh my own dear friend, if I could only receive one quarter of a page from you how much more precious it would be than a folio of those letters! The fighting is still going on, and my heart is anxious, very anxious and sad. Mr. Barr was here to supper last night, was on his way to Homer, traveled at night on account of the extreme best. The heat of the sun is scarcely bearable, it seems to scorch the blood, in the house it is very warm, it is cloudy today at intervals and we hope for speedy rain, as I write I hear slight, distant thunder.

Mr. Gordon spent last night with us, on his way from Shreveport, where he had been to get his mule, he succeeded in getting it. Was called upon by the conscript officers, told them he had always been willing to go into the army, and would go anywhere if they would not conscript him, they promised to write to him when they wanted him. He has a natural deformity, one of his hands is imperfect, and this has prevented him from being in the army.

Saturday, July 9th. / ’64.

It has been nearly two weeks since I have written here, two very busy weeks they have been to me. Mrs. Bowmar Barr has been with us since Saturday, she came out to spend the night and next day, but we persuaded her to stay until her husband came, she expected him Tuesday but he did not arrive here till this morning. They expected to leave this evening but it is raining now and probably they will not leave; this is such a refreshing shower, such a grateful smell comes up from the thirsty earth, for though we have a shower almost every day the sun is so hot that it soon dries the ground. I have rarely felt a more oppressive month than the past June has been. I received a note from Mrs. Morancy last Monday saying that Julia was very ill and had had a congestive chill. Mr. Barr’s protracted absence made us very uneasy, but we were relieved this morning by hearing that Julia was convalescent, and expected soon to be able to come down to see us.

Mr. Gordon came out today to have his horse shod, he expects to go to Georgia in two weeks. Father thinks something of going with him, we would miss him dreadfully but I am anxious for him to go, I know the trip would improve his health and spirits, and then if he went I should be certain of hearing from Valeria once more.

Mother expects to leave for her excursion into the country on Wednesday; Eva had another chill a few days ago, but kept off the next by taking quinine. Loring’s health is still bad and his chills return often, he and Willie went up the river this morning, Willie was going up on a flat boat for government corn, and Lory begged to go with him, and as Mother thought it might do him good she consented, they expect to be gone about a week. I have been suffering much for the past week from boils, today the second one has attained it’s maximum, and I am suffering acutely from it, am scarcely able to sit up.

I finished Mrs. Barr’s corsets the first part of the week, although I took a great deal of pains with them I yet feel so sensibly how unworthy they are her wearing that I am timid about sending them. I finished Lewy Stevens hat today and commenced Willie’s, but have been too unwell to sew much on it.

The rain still continues, a delightful summer rain, it cools the air so much. I heard today that Charley Compton was seriously wounded but had recovered enough to go home. What a sad and thankful rejoicing his arrival will create, wounded, maimed, any way, if only not killed. —

Tuesday, July 12th. / ’64.

After writing the above last Saturday I found my pain increasing so much that in an hour or two afterwards I was obliged to go to bed. I was reading the “Last days of Pompeii,” commenced it soon after I came home, and have not yet finished it, and thought this a good opportunity to read some. While I lay there groaning and reading by turns, I heard a great hubbub, and up drove Mrs. Stone, Miss Kate and Jimmy. I was very glad to see them, we were surprised but not very greatly so, as Mr. Barr had told us that they were in Homer and expected to come down the next week. Mrs. Stone looks older, as is natural she should after so much trouble, but she is as loquacious as ever, talks constantly and very cheerfully, with a compliment in almost every sentence, Miss Kate seems just as if she had only gone away yesterday. Jimmy is quite changed, has grown a great deal and is very manly. I like him very much, he has come in to join the army.

Sunday I rose for breakfast but was obliged to lie on the couch afterwards, and finally to go to bed in much pain, my boil burst about twelve o’clock, which much relieved me. Mr. Scott the President of the western division of this railroad, came in on the stage just before breakfast, spent the day with us, he is a quiet, pleasant gentleman, a little older than Father; he came in on railroad business. Mr. Gordon left soon after breakfast.

Monday morning we all went into town, Mrs. Stone, Miss Kate and Jimmy in their conveyance; and Father, Mr. Scott and I in the carriage. I spent the day at Mrs. Stevens’, enjoyed the day very much. Mrs. Stevens looks very badly, has been sick in bed seven weeks, is now better and sitting up; Mary does not look very well either. I met Mrs. Copely and her daughter George, a young girl of fourteen, and very vivacious and pretty; called at Mrs. McGuire’s on our way home to leave a book and get Mrs. McGuire’s clock which Father is going to mend. Mrs. McGuire lent me Madame de Sevigne’s letters, for which I was much obliged. Mrs. Stone and Miss Kate went out into the swamp yesterday, they will return in about a week to pay us a visit, Jimmy left this morning. Father is gone in town again today, is a member of the grand jury. Mother leaves tomorrow, is busy getting ready now.

Thursday, July 14th.

Mother and Eva left yesterday morning, we miss them so much, last night we were very lonesome indeed. Willie and Loring are still absent, and this makes us feel it more, but I am so very busy all day looking after the children and Susannah; our new maid; that I don’t have time to be lonely until evening.

Mother took Rose with her, and the woman that we have in her stead is quite ignorant of her new duties, and requires a great deal of looking after, but she is apparently willing to learn, and does very well.

Monday night Father brought me a letter from Lois and Grandma, it was dated last April, is the first line we have received from Georgia since last August, the letter was such a surprise, and we were so glad to receive it, and to learn that they were all well, but Grandma is feeble, and I am now more than ever anxious to see her. Lois did not say anything about Uncle David’s family, but I know they were well, else she would have mentioned it, she mentioned the death of two of our old friends. Oh! what changes must have taken place since we left there; I wish now we could hear from Aunt Mary, I cannot imagine why we have not received a letter from her. This one of Lois’ came by mail, I shall be able to send an answer to it by Mr. Gordon. Lois says they have heard so many tales about us, one was that we had gone to South America, another that we had gone to Texas, and still another that we had gotten as far as Red river and could not get across; in all these we can see some mirror, or some perversion of our plans at some time.

The weather is still very warm, this morning it was quite breezy and pleasant, we had a heavy rain Monday night. —

Tuesday, July 19th.

I have not had a spare minute to write any in my journal until now, and have now only a little time. We were delighted Saturday morning by the arrival of Willie and Loring, they had had a very fatigueing trip, and were glad indeed to get home. Loring has had enough of flat boating, and I am heartily glad of it, for these trips away from home make his manners so rough; however his health has improved, he did not have a chill after he left home and looks so much stronger and better. Saturday morning Georgie was taken with a fever which lasted all that day and night, his breath was bad and his tongue foul, and I feared very much that he was going to be quite ill, I was so anxious that night that I heard every movement he made, and was often at his bedside. We sent for the Doctor who came Sunday morning and gave him some medicine, he has had no fever since, and is now quite well. John is not very well, suffers from an affection of the bowels slightly. I try to be very careful about his diet, and he is very good to abstain from what he likes best, green corn and melons. To add to my cares Emmeline was taken sick Friday evening, and that night gave birth to a fine boy; deprived of her services about the house, Miss Mary and I have a great deal to do. I never before realized half the care of housekeeping, nor half the trial it is to the patience. I have not borne it very well, have several times been very much fretted, our house is so large, and there is so much sweeping and dusting to do about it, and then we have none of us ever acquired the habit of saving work; it has not been quite a week since Mother left, but it seems to me like months.

Since Emmeline is sick I have to wash and dress George and John every evening, the little fellows are gone out this evening to get a book Mrs. Leighton promised to lend me, I have hardly time to read it now; the children sometimes irritate me, but I always feel so sorry for having given way to any tempers, and cannot bear them out of my sight.

We were pleasantly surprised Sunday by the arrival of Julia Barr and Miss Shawlie Creath. Miss Shawlie left that afternoon but Julia remained with us. I was very glad to have her, we were so lonesome, and it seems so pleasant and homelike to have her with us. I was sorry to see her leave this evening, she went for a short visit over on the Bayou with Mrs. Dortch will only stay a few days. Mrs. Dortch and Mrs. Leighton were here this morning; I think I shall like Mrs. Leighton very much. I have heard her called stiff, but to me there is nothing at all stiff or unsocial about her. Yonder come the children, I must go and meet them.

Wednesday, July 27th.

Mother returned yesterday, we were almost wild with joy at seeing her again, but neither she nor Eva are improved as we had hoped to see them, Eva had two chills while she was gone. I am in hopes that coming home may cure her, as going away would not. Mother returned with a very bad nervous headache, probably arising from fatigue, it is not well today, but is better. I received a letter from Mrs. Barr which gratified me much, and which brought tears to my eyes, also a long and affectionate letter from Mrs. Morancy, and an equally long one from Mattie Newcomb full of sentimental expressions.

Juila Barr spent Monday night with me, went over to Mrs. Dortch’s yesterday evening; we were agreeably surprised by Miss Kate Stone’s return last night, she has not yet heard from her Mother, came out with Mrs. Templeton, (the lady whom she was visiting) who brought her daughters out for Dr. Temple to operate on their teeth. Kate is going back with them to meet Jimmy, who has now joined Harrison’s command, and gone in to the river on a raid.

Willie returned home Monday morning, was of course very much tired, but was obliged to leave yesterday just after dinner to be gone a month, to haul corn down to Columbia. Oh, I would be so glad if he could get out of this quarter master’s department, but there seems to be no prospect of that, but why cannot I patiently wait upon the working of that Providence which has never aught but blessed me.

George and Loring had such a narrow escape last Friday evening, they had driven down to Mrs. Lidwell’s for some apples, leaving me at Mrs. Dortch’s, and as they were starting back Nelly, (the mule) started off at a rapid pace, which frightened Lory, he checked her and then got out of the buggy to lead her along, but on reaching her head she became alarmed and galloped off, and George commenced to scream loudly. Loring held on to the bridle for some little distance but finally let go, and the mule dashed right on over all that rough road, and came round the corner. We heard Georgie’s screams, and I at once thought of him and Loring, we all ran towards the fence and saw the mule galloping rapidly on with poor little Georgie alone in the buggy. Not knowing what was become of Lory I was dreadfully frightened, but was soon relieved, Alick Dortch caught the mule by jumping out in front of him. The worst effect of the affair was that in running rapidly, with Johnny Dortch in her arms, Miss Laura Barnes had tripped and fallen, spraining her arm badly; there was no one else hurt, except that the next day poor Lory was very much tired from running so fast, and from excitement, and was confined to his couch almost all day.

The weather has been very cool for several days, the mornings are absolutely unpleasantly chilly, but this evening I feel almost suffocating though it is only the stillness of the atmosphere that is oppressive, it is quite dry and we are needing rain very much, we had a promise of it today but it passed off with only a shadow of a sprinkle. I am quite engrossed with “doctoring” Mollie now, she has the “big head” I have found out, and Mr. Wynne has given us a recipe for curing her; take of old rancid, very rancid, bacon, enough fat to make a pint and a half of grease, try it out and then put in a bunch of wormwood as large as you can clasp one hand around by holding it tightly, simmer over a slow fire until the wormwood is completely exhausted of it’s virtue, then squeeze the remainder out and stir salt in the liquid until it is quite thick, this nauseous compound is to applied freely to the swelling on both sides of the head, and then ironed in with a blanket or other woolen cloth laid over the parts. I have performed this operation two mornings now, it is to be done nine mornings in succession, when she will be cured (?). My beautiful pet is completely disabled, it is quite painful to ride her. Mr. Gordon came out here last Wednesday evening to see Father, the “Rob Roy” the Yankee boat has come up again but could not come to Monroe on account of the low water. Mr. Gordon wanted to go down there and father and he went down together on Thursday, we had a very early breakfast and they left here a little after six; it was a very busy day to me, as I had the pantry, hall and parlour thoroughly scrubbed and washed that morning, we deferred supper till late. Mr. Zuber’s boy came in to get some water, and as his master was camping up at the gate I sent out for him to come in and take supper and spend the night with us, he came to supper but left about eleven o’clock, saying that he must go to look after his wagons. Miss Mary was very sleepy and lay down on the outside of the bed, but I sat up reading “Des Confidences” by Lamartine and afterwards my bible until nearly one o’clock, when I thought it was useless to wait longer and went to bed, not without some anxious thoughts about Father. The first thing I did on waking was to go and look in his bed, and felt a pang of disappointment on seeing it spread as usual; he came about two o’clock Friday, fatigued to death, having ridden thirty two miles that morning, he had found the boat much further down the river than he had anticipated and had deliberated a long time about going on, had thought of coming back to let us know, and then going all the way back again, but Mr. Gordon had been unwilling for him to take all that ride, he had concluded finally to go on, I am sure I would have been very sorry had he taken all that ride back just on our account. Father did not go aboard of the boat at all, Captain Griffin had come on shore to see him, but would not say certainly whether or not he had anything for him. Father said he could probably have gotten the things by hanging about the boat, but that he would not bend himself one iota for all that its lading, which I am glad and proud to know.

Julia Barr says Mr. Ludeling brought up a great many things for himself and his immediate friends, and she says she heard that Captain Griffin told some friends that he had Mother’s things and she should get then before he left. I cannot write any more now; am going dam to Mrs. Dortch’s to see Julia, and then to Mrs. Temple’s with Kate to call on Mrs. Templeton and daughters, and invite them here, and then Kate and I are going to Mrs. Scarborough’s to sit up with her two little boys who are dreadfully ill with the diptheria, and who are at the point of death. We were there this morning, it is a heart rending sight, the poor little sufferers and the anguish of their fond parents who have but three children, one a little baby girl only three months old. When I came home to dinner I thought of the contrast in the two families so near each other, I looked with trembling thankfullness on my two little brothers just about the same age, and remembered that Mrs. Scarborough’s children were strong and well like these only last week.

Saturday, July 30th.

John has been quite sick, we were very anxious about his yesterday, he was taken Thursday night and early the next morning we sent for the doctor, he pronounced his attack bronchitis, he had a high fever yesterday, but today is better and is playing about though very taciturn and languid, he is very hoarse and has a bad cold but has improved so much since morning that I hope by tomorrow he will be quite well. George also has a bad cold. Both of Mrs. Scarborough’s children died Wednesday night, the youngest one in the afternoon. Kate Stone and I were there when the oldest one died, oh it was dreadful to think of those poor parents with one little figure lying cold and shrouded and the other insensible, breathing his last, his dying was long and painful. The Father’s grief was terrible, the Mother had left the bedside, unable to view her darling’s suffering and when his Father in an agony of grief tore himself from his almost lifeless boy, we could hear their groans and sobs as they mounted together in the adjacent chamber. As I saw the fearful change come over the face it seemed to me I could live and see it on one of my own dear ones. Oh God, it is terrible, and then to see the lifeless body, to think where has the spirit gone, there it was certain this little suffering soul is now an angel in heaven, but we cannot be thus sure of those who have lived to manhood’s years. My darling brothers, rather would I now see you on the bier than to think that in future years you may die without the grace of God and leave Earth in uncertainty of gaining Heaven. Mr. Scarborough and all his family left the next day carrying with them the corpses of the little ones for whose health they had come here so lately in strength and rejoicing. Mrs. Scarborough has her little baby to draw the bitterness out of her Mother’s breast, but the poor Father has lost his darling, both his darlings in one night, for him there are none of the softening cares of maternity to lessen his grist. How near death and sorrow can come to us and find us still full of our own petty life. On Thursday Kate Stone and Julia Barr were both here and Mrs. Templeton and her daughters returned in the afternoon, one would never have thought that two coffins had left our house that morning. Mrs. Templeton, her daughters and Kate left yesterday morning, and Julia Barr also went to Mrs. Dortch’s, leaving us alone again, we were all too much engrossed about John yesterday to think of anything else. Today I have spent a good deal of time reading Lamartine, am very much pleased with “Des Confidences” but I do not think it so beautiful as his “Voyage en Orient.” Jocelyn must have been a transcript of his own soul, I find so many tones like it in these memoirs. I knew when I read it that the authour had lived through such feelings as he describes, else they could never speak to the heart as they do. I don’t think I ever read anything which made a more enduring impression on my heart, or which became as much a part of my thoughts, of my soul, as this Jocelyn, often I surprise myself in thinking that he actually lived and sometimes his longings, his words, come to me like they were my own, indeed what young what imaginative soul ever lived without such thoughts such longings as his.

Just now I came to my window to watch the rising of the storm, which the clouds seemed to promise us, but now it has all passed by. I still hear the sound of distant thunder, but am afraid we shall not have the much needed rain; for three days it has been very warm and sultry, today the heat is overpowering, and I have felt it greatly, but now a fresh breeze ruffles the trees tops and comes gratefully to my tired frame.

Wednesday, Aug. 3rd.

My worst fears for Willie’s health were realized yesterday, my poor brother is sick at Columbia, and wrote up for Father to send the ambulance and a mattress for him, he has chills and fever. He wrote that he was quite sick, but the fact that it was written by another person, for him, makes us very anxious, we cannot expect him till tomorrow at the soonest, sent immediately yesterday evening. Father would have gone but thought it better for Willie to have all the room. George had a fever all day yesterday and last night, we were alarmed by an eruption which appeared on his body, sent for Dr. White early this morning, who said the fever was caused by a severe cold and the eruption was nettle rash, we have only to be careful that the rash does not strike in. A negro child near here broke out with it last week, it’s Mother perceiving it, washed it in cold water and in ten minutes the child was a corpse!

Mrs. Stone and Kate arrived yesterday morning, Mrs. Stone had been to her place and to Millikens bend, was rejoiced to get out safe, found the old negroes she left on her place faithful, and that they had taken care of her silver, she brought out a few pieces, gave the rest to a yankeeized southern lady at the bend. Mrs. Stone got a few goods, could not get either tea or coffee, says greenbacks are rapidly depreciating. She brought out a quantity of new songs, books and magazines, the fashions are perfect curiosities to us, so much changed. Mrs. Stone also brought a large packet of papers, containing much interesting news, an account of the fight between the Alabama and the Kearsage, one by Winslow, one by Semmes, both of which agree tolerably, also a full account of one raid into Maryland which was entirely successful and frightened the Yankees to death, this is glad news but oh we have so much cause for solicitude, in one of the papers there is a long article from the Georgia Constitutionalist which gives a fair and frank statement of our situation both in Virginia and Georgia, this situation is very critical, it fills me with anxiety, but I trust that the skilfullness of our Generals and the bravery of our troops will yet save our Capitol. Father says if Richmond is saved it will be the wonder of the world, it will be our pride, our joy. I pray fervently for divine help. In God is our trust and I believe we shall yet joyfully praise him. Oh how I love and venerate and trust our wise and heroic Lee.

Sunday, August 7th.

Willie did not come Thursday, as we hoped, and we were quite anxious but Friday morning early we heard the ambulance coming. I was sleeping up stairs with Miss Kate Stone, and was not yet dressed though I had been up some time. I was soon down stairs, Willie was very weak, and looked badly indeed, he has fallen away so much, his cheeks look hollow and his form very thin. He has not improved very much since he came home, but is as well as one could expect, he was very sick indeed with the bilious fever, has had no fever since he came home. Mrs. Copely and her daughter George spent the day with us Wednesday, as Mrs. Stone and Kate were here we had quite a large party and spent a pleasant day. Mrs. Stone left Thursday morning for Texas, I suppose Kate will remain with us till next week. We were happily surprised Friday evening by the coming of Mr. Beck and Miss Mary, I was so glad to see them, I hope they will stay some time longer, but am afraid they will not as they are so anxious about home that they cannot go up to Homer to see Mrs. Barr. I do like and admire Miss Mary Beck so much, and am so anxious that she should at least like me; she brought such a welcome present, “Corinne,” and “Les oeuvres choisies de Bernardin St. Pierre,” containing “Paul et Virginie” just what I was wishing for only two days ago, and I am so glad to have Corinne, which I admire so much. I prize them more too as coming from Miss Mary, though I suppose she only gave them to me from benevolence. Poor little Lory, he has the chills again, had the first Friday, then one yesterday, and today he had a very hard chill and high fever, which has not yet gone off. Eva had a chill day before yesterday and one today, both rather slight. Mr. Gordon was here last night, is undecided about going to Georgia, if he goes it will be about next week. I do so hope he will go, he is so kind about promising to take my letters and find out where Mr. Ridgill is. We had some favourable news about Virginia and Georgia; we have had a battle in Georgia and gained a victory, though by no means a decisive one, but we hope strongly, we have also had some slight successes in Virginia.

Thursday, August 11th.

It is all so quiet this morning that the bustle and company of the past weeks, especially last night, seems like some gay dream. But I will commence at the first day. Monday Mr. Beck and Miss Mary left, I was so sorry to see them go and sincerely wished they might have stayed a week longer, but their home is so near the river that in these unquiet times they were anxious to get back.

Tuesday Miss Mary, Kate and I went into Monroe to spend the day with Mary Stevens, I called on Mrs. Harrison at Dr. Calderwood’s, found both her and Miss Maggie at Home and spent a very pleasant hour. We found Mrs. Stevens quite well, for her, and it was late before we left, having obtained a promise from May and Mrs. Copley to come out and spend the night with us and meet Miss Chaffe, a young lady at Dr. Temple’s, who came down for some dentistrical work, and who is a friend, and Miss Copley’s. Mrs. C. described her to us as a beautiful songstress, and as we had a great desire to hear her sing we determined to have her down with us if she would come.

When at Miss Calderwood’s I borrowed several books from her, one of which “Family pride” she recommended very highly, so as we had nothing better to do we thought it would interest us to read it aloud, accordingly after all our domestic affairs were settled we seated ourselves to our sewing, and I was as usual constituted reader. After we got into the interest of the story, which was not long, we were not willing to stop, and pursued Margaret Desmond’s mysterious adventures till dinner and immediately after until time for our afternoon dispersion at nearly five in the afternoon, as may be supposed I was troubled with a slight hoarseness from which I have not yet recovered, my throat feels quite raw this morning, and I have been soothing it with loaf sugar.

While I was dusting the piano Mary and Mrs. Copley drove up, rested a few minutes and then went out to Dr. Temple’s to call on Miss Chaffe. We were soon dressed and followed them, we found Miss Chaffe in a plain “dumpy” little person with an extremely fair complexion and unfailing smile, she accepted my invitation to tea but was going to spend the night with Mary Stevens, who much to our disappointment was obliged to go home that night, as her Aunt wanted to use the carriage early the next morning, perhaps it was better that she did, for on our return we found Mrs. Templeton and her two daughters here, and we could not possibly have afforded even pallets for so many without putting Willie out of his room, which of course inadmissable. Mrs. Copley told me while she called that she had taken the liberty of inviting for the evening a young gentleman, a friend of hers and a devoted admirer of Miss Chaffe, whom we would know by his uniform of artillery Lieutenant, and by his very small feet, clothed in faded pumps. We laughed very much at her description of the gentleman’s last and apparently most striking characteristic. There was quite a circle of us on the piazza when we saw an ambulance driving up, a lady holding the reins, on it’s near approach we recognized Lucy Seale, her Mother, and a young gentleman clinging to the back of the vehicle whom they introduced as Capt. Gillespie, and of whom we had frequently heard Kate speak as a cousin of Mrs. Templeton’s of by no means a staid disposition or demeanor, as we now experienced. We prevailed on them to descend from their elevation and join our party, and there we sat in formidable array of summer evenings toilets with only three coats interspersed, when the solitary “pair of faded pumps” rode up and manfully facing our bright artillery dismounted, and advanced up the steps, being introduced to us in a body as “Lieut. Coleman ladies,” he gladly sank into the nearest chair and fell into converse with May, his next neighbour; in spite of our large party of ladies and our scarcity of young gentlemen the evening passed quickly and pleasantly, with that freedom which almost invariably attends accidental reunions. Mary Stevens looked so freshly pretty that I felt like kissing her all the evening. We heard the famous voice of good humoured Miss Chaffe, which was very sweet, but I thought tiny and not well managed, but which some of the company applauded to the skies. Miss Mary sang one song, “Juanita,” a deep, rich song which suits her powerful voice. I thought it incomparably superior to Miss Chaffe’s trills and sinkings, but the rest of the company did not appear to think so, though I remarked the attention the first verse excited and the admiring buzz which filled up the interlude. It was late, about eleven, when Mary and her party left, and Mrs. Templeton sat up for more than an hour afterwards, though I was so tired that my limbs pained and my throat was quite raw and stiff. At last however we retired, and sleep came gratefully as soon as my head touched the pillow.

This morning after breakfast Mrs. Templeton left, taking Kate with her to pay a visit at her house at Oak Ridge.

Willie is much improved the last two days, is much stronger, but still looks very badly. Father went to the flouring mill at Downsville this morning to have our little crop of twenty-five bushels of wheat ground, it is only sixteen miles and he will be back tomorrow. We have not yet had any decisive news from Atlanta, but hear some vague rumours about our position there which awaken much anxiety and disquiet in our minds.

Saturday night. Aug. 13th.

Nothing has happened since I wrote last. Father returned from mill yesterday afternoon, we also finished reading our book, after having read all day my eyes were very tired, and I wanted to walk over to Mrs. Craig’s but Mother thought the walk too wet and proposed that I should go down to Mrs. Leighton’s. I was just walking up to the gate when Willie saw me, and claimed my promise to take a buggy ride with him, the evening had been so wet I thought he had abandoned the idea. I called at Mrs. Leighton’s to return “Des Confidences” and thank her for the pleasure it had given me, chatted rapidly for about five minutes, and left with the great prize of the first volume of Lamartine’s “Histoire des Girondins.” We had a delightful ride, when we were coming home we had the glorious sunset sky before us, and all around the golden light was reflected by the brilliant green foliage all wet and shining from the recent rain. This evening we have had a fine rain, one of my beloved rainy evenings. We intended to have called on Mrs. Hayward from Homer, who is at Mrs. Temple’s, but the rain prevented. I nothing loath sat at my window to watch the rain and read Madame de Sevign�’s sprightly letters, but I had not spent more than an hour with this charming french woman when I took out my package of Valeria’s precious letters and read them with far tenderer interest, they awoke such affectionate, longing feelings in my heart that I could not refrain from expressing then somewhat, and notwithstanding the uncertainty of Mr. Gordon’s crossing the river, I determined to write, and hastily taking out a sheet of paper commenced, night found me still at my delightful and absorbing employment. While we were at supper a mysterious event happened, Rose saw a man on horseback pass the window, and on going immediately to the front door saw him going down to the other gate, she did not speak and he passed on. We at first thought it might be Uncle Jim going for the cows, as they had not come up as usual, but on Susannah’s coming in with the milk soon after, Father sent out to the stables to see if any horses were missing, they were all there; we might have thought Rose mistaken but that we sent up to the gates and found them both open! a very uncourteous visitor whoever he be, I fancy he just came in malice, prepense to leave the gates open and let in the pigs!

We hear rumours of a raid the Yankees have made into Georgia from Hilton head, but nothing certain.

Monday night. Aug. 15th.

Willie rode into Trenton this evening in the buggy, is ordered into camp as soon as he is able to go; the ride in tired him very much. I have been anxious for him to quit the quartermaster’s service, and now that he is about to leave I find myself full of a kind of upraiding feeling as if it were not kind or sisterly of me to wish him away. I begin to feel all kinds of unnumbered fears for his body and soul, my heart is tonight agitated and troubled, and in addition I feel very nervous and tired. We have had cloudy or rainy weather since Saturday. Mrs. Hayward, Miss Lizzie Tradewell and Sallie Dreux spent the day with us Sunday, I like Miss Lizzie Tradewell more and more as I become acquainted with her. I met her in Homer where she and her Grandmother were very polite and kind to me, they are from Florida, but Miss Tradewell has been to school in Savannah, where she has an Aunt living. There is a little something about her that reminds me of Valeria, perhaps it is only because Valeria is so constantly in my thoughts, I long for her daily.

Willie heard today that the Yankees in their raid from Hilton Head had gone as far as Macon and had burned the Oconee railroad bridge, but that they had all been surrounded and captured, probably by our own brave militia. Oh, how it makes my heart throb with proud, thankful joy to think of it. The Oconee bridge was built by Father, it was in a manner the commencement of his railroad career. How anxious we are to hear news of Atlanta, the Yankees on their raid must have passed right by Uncle David’s, I wish we could hear from them. The mysterious horseman who passed through our yard the other night was no more romantic personage than a poor half blind soldier who brought a note from Dr. Temple to his wife and probably mistook this for his house, he stayed at Dr. Temple’s all night, and went off the next morning to hunt conscripts!

Wednesday, Aug. 17th.

How lightened my mind feels tonight of the heavy burden which has so long pressed upon. Oh, have I indeed made one stop towards that end which has long been to me the highest. Mr. Lawson, the episcopal minister from Bastrop is coming down to Monroe to preach on Sunday, and tonight I told Mother about how I had long desired to join the Church, she said I might see Mr. Lawson Sunday, unworthy as I am of this high privilege I feel it will give new life to every effort in duty and Oh how inexpressibly it will soothe my weary and often doubtful soul if I am thought fit for this sovereign mercy.

Friday evening. Aug. 19th.

I have just come in from the room where they are warping our first piece of cloth, it looks so pretty, and I could not help putting my fingers in to the “leese” as they call it, crossed the threads correctly and was full of my triump. Mrs. Lidwell kindly came up to show Alice how to warp, tomorrow they are going to put it into the loom. Mrs. Lidwell says it is very nicely spun, Miss Mary attends to the spinning, has two regular spinners, one, Caroline, does seven cuts very easily; the other, Susannah, has been lazy and only spun five, but yesterday Miss Mary told her she must do six or finish her task after dark, she brought in only five and a half. Miss Mary was faithful to her promise and she brought in the other half cut, in a surprisingly short space of time.

I received a letter from my dear Aunt Mary yesterday, the first one in a year, though she says she has written many, her letter was affectionate and interesting, and was truly welcome. I do not now feel so utterly cut off from Georgia as before, for this letter came by mail in the short time of one month, she had only received two of my letters, but one was the long one that I wrote first and which described our affairs most fully.

Miss Mary came at this point in my writing and called me away, to accompany her in a rattling ride home with Mrs. Lidwell, we went in the ambulance and had a delightful ride through the mud; it has been raining almost continually since last Saturday, but now as I raise my eyes I behold with rapture the golden lined clouds in the west which give cheering hope of a fair day tomorrow, while they fill our souls with love and rapture in the calm evening hour, see how rapidly the bright hues are changing and soon there will be left the deep, peaceful light in the sky through which the stars shine so softly. I am particularly anxious this rainy weather should break now, so that we may go to Church on Sunday. Willie is away today, went down to Millhaven, he is improving very fast. I hope he will be strong before next Thursday, he has set that as the day to leave. While Mother was up the country Eldridge saw a horse at Mrs. Brantley’s which he thought resembled Pompey, Willie’s lost pony; so Willie sent Antony up there to see, and he returned with an affirmative answer; it appears that one of Mrs. Brantley’s sons had traded for it at Shreveport; so Willie, knowing Mrs. Brantley to be a hard woman, has gone to get Mr. McQuiller from he bought Pompey to go up with him as proof; sad to think that this should be thought necessary, but such are these degenerate days when oaths are often lightly taken and still more lightly broken.

Tuesday morning Mrs. Dortch sent up an invitation for me to come down as she expected Miss Maggie Calderwood and Laura Barnes to come out; I accepted her invitation with pleasure, and spent a very pleasant day, though the rain prevented Miss Maggie and Miss Laura from coming. I think Miss Kane a very pleasant young lady. We have passed many of the hours of this rainy week with great pleasure and profit in reading “The Talisman” aloud, like almost all of Scott’s novels it is admirable, the first few chapters rather dragged a little owing, I suppose, to the preoccupation of my mind, but after that we were all intensely interested.

The air which comes through my window has something of the bracing coolness of Autumn, I hope the heats of the summer are broken; I look forward to the winter as a time when I shall be able to do much more than I have during this oppressive and languid summer, my fears for its gloominess are less, it seems to me much of the bitterness has gone out of my heart since Wednesday evening, but let me not be too presumptuous, the enemy only waits occasion to tempt me.

I received a letter from Mrs. Morancy the other evening, she says Mrs. Barr will gladly take Miss Mary and Eva if she can get the room fixed; I hope they will be able to go, it will improve them both. I think in some things Miss Mary depends too much upon, she will when away be obliged to exert her own powers, but how we shall miss them, Willie too away, ours will indeed be a changed family.

Tuesday evening, Aug. 23rd.

I sit down this evening to chronicle the great event of our year, we have our first piece of cloth in the loom, and while I write I hear Alice weaving. Mrs. Lidwell came over yesterday and put it in but she made a mistake and had to put it in over again today. I congratulate myself that the mysteries of weaving are beginning to be elucidated in my mind. I now understand plain cloth, and really think I could put in a piece myself. Yesterday I “handed up” the thread to Mrs. Lidwell and tired my arm so that it pained me all the evening.

Willie returned from Mrs. Brantley’s Sunday evening, did not get Pompey. Antony made a mistake, the horse was very much like, but (in Willie’s opinion at least) not equal to that “Non pareil.” Willie’s ride brought back his fever. He did not feel well Sunday evening, and yesterday he had quite a fever, sent for Dr. Whyte, took medicine, and kept his bed this morning, and this afternoon is up and has no fever, I hope it will not come back.

We went into Monroe Sunday, but how disappointed we were when we found that Mr. Lawson had not come. We heard an earnest and fervent sermon from old Mr. McGuire, and I felt benefited by it, but I was so much disappointed about seeing Mr. Lawson. I have now to put off further the purpose of opening my heart to him on that nearest and highest subject, that which I feel is so imperatively my duty, and which I must perform before I can hope for enduring peace of mind.

We had the pleasure of welcoming a visit from Dr. McDonough the other evening, his came Saturday soon after dinner, was away yesterday and today, but we expect him back tonight, we are very glad indeed to see him again. The hospital has moved back here again in the same houses it occupied last winter; we are so sorry Dr. McDonough is not with it, but I don’t believe he wants to come; Dr. Furness is the chief with Dr. Melton for an assistant, we shall probably have opportunities for perfecting our acquaintance with the former, have not seen him yet. Mr. Gordon is here this evening, will remain all night, I suppose, I am very much afraid he will not go to Georgia. Oh, if he only would, how rejoiced I would be!

We had a lame soldier here Sunday and yesterday. Father was at the quartermaster’s office in Trenton the other day and found him there trying to get transportation. Father brought him out this far, and this morning he left on one of the hospital wagons, he lives about twenty miles from Homer, is named “Peace,” has been in the army three years, wounded twice, the last time was at Chicka mauga, where he was shot in the ankle, and now he has to walk on crutches, he appears to be a very good, honest young man; has not heard from his family since Vicksburg fell, and says he supposes his Mother and Father think he is dead. What a glad surprise his return will be.

The weather is delightful now, we appreciate it so much after the rain, my geranium is growing so beautifully and the heliotropes are luxuriant, the little garden looks so beautiful in the morning when the heavy dew actually drips from the plants.

Friday, Sept. 2nd. 1864.

I have been quite sick ever since I wrote last, was very languid Wednesday, and lay on the couch all the morning, but thought it was nothing more than the debility which so often prostrates me, but in the evening I felt severe pain in my head and limbs, which prevented my sleeping during the night. Thursday morning Mother went up to consult the Dr. and as he thought my symptoms were typhoid in their character he came down immediately, but it proved nothing serious. I, of course, had to take the usual Blue mass and calomel and quinine, I had but very little fever, suffered principally from pains in my limbs and great prostration of strength, with an indifference to everything which seems astonishing in my nervous temperament. Yesterday was the first day I dressed, though I went to ride Wednesday evening. I still feel quite weak and look extremely pale and more than usually ugly.

The weather is excessively warm, the afternoons and early part of the night are scarcely tolerable, but in the morning we have quite a pleasant breeze, the sun is burning.

There is much sickness through the country, as usual we have our share. Loring has had another slight attack of the chills, and Eva is taking quinine today to keep hers off; she has had three. Mr. Barr and Julia spent last night with us, left this morning for Homer. Mr. Barr came down last week, Mrs. Morancy has been very sick indeed, and now has dreadful sore eyes, how thankful I am she was spared to her family and friends, her disease was very dangerous, threatened conjestion of the bowels. This has been such a very sickly season; Dr. Furness says the mortality in Shreveport is very great, as great comparatively as in New Orleans in 1853. Dr. Furness himself looks very badly, took tea with us Tuesday night before I was sick, has been over since with his colleague Dr. Melton. Miss Mary thought the latter quite agreeable, I am quite curious to see him.

Monday, Sep. 5th.

Have really nothing particular to write this morning, but have just finished writing to Aunt Mary and felt in a humour to keep on. Father and Mother are gone to Monroe today, we are quite alone. Miss Mary and Eva are very busy, the one sewing, the other plaiting a palmetto hat. They are again getting ready to go to Homer. Mrs. Barr sent us word in a letter to Julia that she would try and get the room “fixed,” and hoped to have it done in a week or two.

I have quite recovered from my illness, took a pleasant ride in the buggy with Willie Friday afternoon. We went to Mrs. Wynne’s and called at Mrs. Craig’s on our way back, found both Mrs. Craig and Margaret smiling after their hard day’s work. Mrs. Craig says she will be ready to give Margaret to me again as soon as she has finished weaving a piece of cloth she has ready for the loom. They have to work very hard, Mrs. Craig and Margaret have to spin and weave all the cloth the family wear, and she has seven children, besides her husband and herself, they have no servant at all, and Mr. Craig is in the army. This is but one of many such family’s in the south, once so rich and prosperous. The weather continues just as warm as ever. Dr. Furness spent the evening with us Friday, he was over yesterday morning for something to read.

Wednesday, Sep. 7th.

Our neighbourhood is full of soldiers, several divisions came up from Alexandria the other day, and are still near Monroe, the sick are sent out to these hospitals, except Walker’s division, whose sick have gone up the river somewhere; Walker is transferred to the command of some department in Texas. The two hospitals are very much crowded, but I believe there are only three dangerously ill, poor fellows, they are in want of many things, I wish we could supply them. The accommodations and provisions they have are both insufficient, one of those who has been here from the first was over last night to get some bread we had had baked for him, he said there was not room for all the men in the house, but some were lying out under the trees just on their blankets; it distresses us to think we can do nothing for them. Yesterday morning when they first came out, Mrs. Dortch heard they were without anything to eat and she sent over some light bread and soup, they were exceedingly grateful.

The weather has not been so oppressively warm for the last two or three days, the sky was a little cloudy last night. I hope we shall have rain soon, we are beginning to need it, so many wagons passing on the road have made it quite dusty. Willie and I took a long horseback ride Monday evening, went to Mrs. Bullock’s on the Arkansas road to carry a hat Miss Mary and I made some time ago for a little orphan boy she has. I have seldom seen a more desolate looking country, for a mile the road lay through continuous woods, only here and there some deserted and ruined cabin. After we came out on the public road it was perhaps more dreary, for the houses were of the poorest sort, far between, often deserted and always ruinous, with people as miserable looking and as scarce as their cabins. We were quite tired when we reached our destination, rode up a washed and “gullied” approach to a most miserable looking habitation, a little have cultivated enclosure on one side, a lot on the other in which stood a poor bay horse, while outside under a tree languished a miserable claybank, with his back all bloody, a decrepit paling enclosed a little yard before the door where a few stunted altheas grew out of the hard ground. The house was composed of two log “pens” with a passage between and a “gallery” in front, on a little stool in this “gallery” Mrs. Bullock sat carding, while here two “gals” were near, one spinning, the other apparently just from the kitchen; Mrs. Bullock welcomed us cordially, wanted to know “what I had for the hat” and was much obliged when I told here it was a present. When we said it was late and we must go back “Why you ain’t going home tonight!! Won’t you stay all night with us?” What an idea, I was almost too much surprised to thank her. As we returned home we met the most ragged and miserable looking man I ever saw, his hair and beard seemed to have been guiltless of the razor for months, and his eyes gleamed out wildly from his grizzled elf locks, his shirt was very dirty, and ragged up to the elbows, and his pants were all ragged and tattered, displaying his bare feet and legs. He carried an old black hat in his hand, this was Mr. Bullock, fit proprietor of such a place; the only flourishing thing about his domain was an excellent field of corn.

Our ride was longer than we had expected, and yesterday I found myself perfectly lame and exhausted, went to Mrs. Dortch’s in the evening, felt better; and after a good nights sleep am quite refreshed though not strong. Oh, for health and strength! Will this priceless boon ever be mine!

I commenced the “Girondins” the other day, it has for me all the exciting interest of a novel. I could scarcely tear myself away from it yesterday, and am thinking of it all the time, have nothing else particular to do now but read. I long for the time to come when I can commence school again, I am not strong enough yet, and am afraid I shall not be able to commence until Willie and Miss Mary and Eva are gone.

We took our cloth out today, are delighted with the success of our first piece, it looks so even and strong.

We have received news of our daring and successful raid into Memphis, it makes me quite exultant, is equal to the gallant exploits of the ancient knights. We hear rumours that Sherman has raised the siege of Atlanta, but nothing definite is yet known. The Yankees have lately made a raid into the swamp, burned Floyd, the seat of justice of Carroll parish, and Pinhook, a little place near it. We heard from one of the soldiers at the hospital that there was a Capt. Collins sick in a private house in Floyd whom the Yankees took out of his bed and killed, they also wounded two other sick men, this is a horrid outrage, if true, as I dare say it is. Col. Harrisson is down there somewhere, and we heard something of a fight he had had, but have nothing but mere rumours.

Thursday, Sep. 8th.

Have been so weak and sick today that I have kept my place on the couch nearly all the time, reading the “Girondins” in the intervals of my attacks of weakness. I have a pain in my back nearly all the time, cannot imagine whence it proceeds. Am tired of lying down and not well enough to read or sew, and fly to my journal in despair. I have a good deal to write, too, yesterday morning I was sitting in my large rocking chair, propped back, and listening to Loring read, when a carriage came up containing — Mrs. Proctor! Miss Lawrence, and Miss Laura Barnes, the motive of their visit was to get Miss Mary to take part in some tableaux and plays which the D.D.D’s are to give a week from tomorrow, for the purpose of buying the materials of a flag for the 17th regiment, whose colours have been destroyed in some of their fights. After some consultation we decided that it would only be a pleasure for Miss Mary to go, and so we rode down to Mrs. Dortch’s in the afternoon to announce her decision spent the whole afternoon in discussions of costumes and parts; Miss Mary is to have that of a housekeeper in a very pretty little play by Miss Edgeworth, whose scene is laid at the time of the return of soldiers from the war; the play is called the “Knapsack.” Miss Mary has quite a genius for acting and I expect will make quite a success. We are going in town Saturday to attend the first rehearsal, I hope I shall feel better then, have just discovered a fever blister on my lip which they say is a good sign. Dr. Furness was over last night, I was really ill, but not sleepy, and when he came was reclining in a rocking chair in the parlour listening to Miss Mary’s sweet voice. She sang several songs before she discovered that he was on the piazza; I begin to like him right well, but have no reason for this change in my opinion, and therefore do not know how long it may continue.

We have soldiers coming in constantly, there were four here to dinner today, besides, a good many others before and since, poor creatures, we are glad to give them any pleasure in our power, at most, we can do but little for them. I expect the soldiers sewing society will soon be started again, in Monroe, Dr. Furness says the quarter master at Shreveport has plenty of cloth but can get no one to make it up, and many of the soldiers are without clothing. Two came here today to get some washing done, and two shirts made. Mother has taken both to do, is engaged on the shirts this evening. Father is busy this evening, warping another piece of cloth. Willie went to Millhaven this evening, had some personal business and in addition is going to bring back two cows for the hospital, he is much better and will soon leave for his command. Father had commenced a pair of spurs for him.

We had a delightful and needed rain yesterday evening, and there has just been a little shower, how the leaves sparkle in the light of the declining sun. It is so beautiful.

The atmosphere is much cooler, I hope the summer heats are over, it is almost time. Mrs. Dortch and Mrs. Leighton were here today to bid us goodbye. One of the hospitals is very near Mrs. Leighton’s, and as they come over there constantly for water and other things, she is afraid of disease, and is going away this evening. Mrs. Dortch is quite alone, as Miss Laura has gone on a visit to Miss Lawrence, and she does not like to stay after Mr. Leighton leaves, so she is going over to her place tomorrow morning. I am very sorry they are gone, we shall miss them greatly and besides they might have been of assistance about the soldiers, but they were both so unpleasantly situated they could not stay.

Friday, Sep. 16th.

I have been very sick since I wrote last, had a chill last Friday, the first chill I ever had, and I was so vexed and mortified. I was in bed Saturday, Sunday and Monday and had a chill each day till the last, I never remember suffering so much, and my state of mind was very low and painful. I am stronger now, but my heart is like a deserted house in which the ghosts of the departed are walking always to and fro. I am so lonesome, Willie has gone, left yesterday morning, it seems as if with him were gone all the vivacity of the house. Oh my brother, my brother! I miss him every hour. Father too is absent now, left for Shreveport Wednesday, he will only be gone a few days but it seems a long time. We have just heard of the fall of Atlanta, but know no particulars, this is indeed a great misfortune, and we feel it deeply, Father had expected it but nevertheless it depressed him much; we hope that Hood has saved his army.

We have a young man staying with us now to recruit his health, Capt. Williams of the engineer corps, he has improved very much since he came last Saturday, I like him very much, is very quiet in his manners and spends most of his time in reading. I feel too weak to take much interest in anything, sit idle a great deal of the time; am taking a preparation of iron, by Dr. Furness’ advice, and hope it will improve my health.

There has lately been a sudden change in the weather, yesterday morning on rising we found it almost cool enough for fires, this morning it is the same; the golden rod begins to blossom on the hillsides, and a slight autumn tinge appears an the edges of the limbs; this weather reminds me of that we had on our trip to Georgia, the crisp, rustling breeze whispers to me of all the pleasant scenes in my life, it brings to mind all my friends.

I have been taking a walk this morning, exercise is essential to my health, I am determined to walk every day hereafter; the sky is so deeply blue, the dark foliage of the pines defines itself so clearly against, all the other trees glisten in the sunlight and every spear of grass and little flowering sprig is so full of beauty that a walk is a series of constantly recurring beauties; but these beauties awaken only memories of other far remembered scenes and people that have vanished. Can I never free myself from this life in the past, which from earliest childhood has so clung to me? I do not try as I ought, it is such a seducing pleasure though I know it is enervating and idle. Father received a letter from Mr. John Green Sunday he was quite well. I sent a letter to Valeria by a gentleman going across the river; directed it to Selma, at hazard. Oh, may it only reach her, and bring me the answer for which I hunger daily.

Monday, Sep. 19th.

Father surprised us early Sunday morning, we had not expected him until tomorrow, were so glad to see him, though he had only been gone three days; I think his journey did him good, his spirits are much better. He met a gentleman who left Macon, Georgia, since the evacuation of Atlanta, he said that it was not considered a very serious loss to us, and that it was there confidently expected that we should have peace in a few months. I hope it may be so. Every body that comes from the east side of the river are in fine spirits, they have not our inaction to depress them. I have improved so much, am well enough to take a walk every morning, went more than two miles this morning, and don’t feel tired. The weather is still cool and bracing, my spirits mount with my health, that dreadful and unaccustomed visitant ennui is quite gone. Our