November 24th.—Clear and frosty. Ice half an inch thick this morning. All quiet below.
Col. St. John, Niter and Mining Bureau, required 13,000 men to furnish ammunition, etc.
Col. Northrop, Commissary-General, reports only 15 days’ bread rations in Richmond for 100,000 men, and that we must rely upon supplies hereafter from the Carolinas and Virginia alone. The difficulty is want of adequate transportation, of course. The speculators and railroad companies being in partnership, very naturally exclude the government from the track. The only remedy, the only salvation, in my opinion, is for the government to take exclusive control of the railroads, abate speculation, and change most of the quartermasters and commissaries.
Hon. J. B. Clarke proposed a resolution of inquiry in the House of Representatives, which was adopted, calling for the number and name of employees in the departments, and the State they were appointed from. Virginia has more than half of them.
Gen. Cooper, the Adjutant-General, Northern by birth, turned out twenty of his eighty clerks yesterday, to replace them with ladies.
It is said and believed that Sherman’s cavalry has reached Milledgeville, and destroyed the public buildings, etc. We have nothing from Wheeler since the 18th inst.
November 24th. Our camp located on a high hill, west of the town. Fine scenery at this point. Our picket line will cover from Halltown to Charlestown, a distance of about five miles along the railroad.
Nashville, Thursday, Nov. 24. A still cold night, froze very hard this morning. I think it is ten degrees below zero. Boys skating on ponds, like old times. Detailed early to go after beef. Had to go and obtain post team, then to the slaughter yard located on the Cumberland River. When we reached it we found there was a string of wagons twenty rods long ahead of us, and we had to wait our turn, which did not come before 3 P. M. and we had a good chance to see the magnitude of the work carried on here daily. About one hundred eighty two butchers at work all the time, fifty-four beeves killed before 12 M. An animal would be knocked down and nearly skinned before he was dead, it being weighed out as fast as killed. One hundred thousand rations issued by the government daily. Reached camp in time to eat a good supper and to find no mail for me.
An opportunity offered Griff and me to attend the theatre where the celebrated Alice Kingsbury (Maggie Mitchell) played the part of “Cricket” in the drama called Fanchon. To me it was highly interesting to observe how near art could approach nature. Stage scenery was almost life-like, the grassy woods, shady woodland and bubbling brook, all seemed more real than I could believe possible. As for Alice, she was the principal actress for three hours, and well did she play her part as a poor befriended orphan and an accomplished lady. Anger, sorrow and love depicted with great truthfulness.
24th. Thursday. After breakfast went on picket on middle road, on reserve post. Very quiet but cold—little sleep. Many prayers have gone up today for the welfare of the soldiers and the salvation of the country. May God soon bring the rebs to their senses and bring an honorable peace with freedom to all men.
November 24th, 1864.—Three times a week Mother fixes up a basket to send in to the Tallahassee hospital, fresh butter and butter milk; fresh vegetables from the garden; any kind of fruit we happen to have and always two large loaves of delicious home-made bread. This last is a luxury as flour is hard to get. Father raises wheat and he has put in bolting cloths in his grist mill, so the wheat can be prepared for use. This morning Sister Mart and I carried the basket and I was so sorry for a patient, whom I had not heard of until today. It seems he was shot through the lungs, at the battle of Olustee, and has been here in the hospital ever since. Some of the people here, becoming interested in him, have tried to get him exchanged but have met with no success. He is slowly dying of consumption and he wants to go home. His family live up North, somewhere and Mr. Craig, who goes often to see him, says they are frantic to get him exchanged but they can do no more than the few who are trying in Tallahassee can do. Mr. Craig writes his letters home for him since he has grown so weak; he still cherishes the hope of going home but they say he would not be able to go now, even if the exchange could be made. It is pitiful ! Sick in a strange land and for so long.
Thursday, 24th.—Marched twenty miles; struck what was called Mclntire Pike Road. Couldn’t see much pike about it. Reported 18,000 Federals at Pulaski.
23d.—Military movements are kept very much in the dark. Nothing going on about Richmond, except cannonading, particularly at Dutch Gap.
Sherman is moving across Georgia in direction of Milledgeville, looking towards Savannah, or perhaps Charleston, or to some intermediate point on the coast, where he may, if necessary, meet with reinforcements and supplies from Federal shipping already there, or on their way down the Atlantic coast for that very purpose. Efforts are being made by the Governors of South Carolina and Georgia to arrest him. Beauregard, too, has made a short, stirring address, assuring them that he was hastening down to their aid, and that with proper exertions which might be made on their part, the destruction of the enemy would be certain. Nothing equal to the demands of these trying times has yet been done by any of the authorities. Oh that they would strain every nerve to put a stop to this bold and desolating invader! It would require united effort, made without delay. No hesitation, no doubting and holding back must there be; every human being capable of bearing arms must fly to the rescue; all the stores of every kind should be destroyed or removed; bridges burned, roads torn up or obstructed; every difficulty should be thrown in the way. He should be harassed day and night, that he might be delayed, and entrapped, and ruined. Oh that these things could be done! It may be a woman’s thought, but I believe that had Georgia one tithe of the experience of the ruined, homeless Virginians, she would exert every fibre of her frame to destroy the enemy; she would have no delusive hope of escape. I trust that the doctrines of Brown, Stephens, and such like, are not now bearing their bitter fruits! that the people of patriotic Georgia have not been rendered unfit for the sacrifices and dangers of this fearful day, when every man is required to stand in the deadly breach, and every earthly interest, even life itself, must be surrendered rather than yield to the barbarous foe, by their treasonable doctrines of reconstruction, reunion, etc. Oh, I trust not; and I hope that our now uncertain mails may bring information that all Georgia and South Carolina are aroused to their awful condition.
Near Gordon, November 23, 1864.
Came here to-day, about eight miles, find the Army of the Tennessee all here. Have heard nothing of the Rebels to-day; saw ice one and one-half inches thick that formed last night. Wore my overcoat all day. The left wing is either at Milledgeville or gone on east. A branch road runs up to the Capitol from the Macon and Savannah railroad, leaving it at Gordon. It is now all destroyed. This road is very easily destroyed. The iron is laid on stringers, which are only fastened to the ties with wooden pins. We have yet done nothing at it, but boys who have, say they pry up one stringer with the iron on it, roll it over to the other half of the track, lay some rails on, and fire it. The iron being firmly fastened to the stringer, expanding under the heat destroys it completely. The country here is quite rolling, not quite as rich as the Indian Spring country, but there is yet plenty of forage. The woods are mostly pine, and we are all most anxious to get where we will have some other fuel. The smoke of pine wood is so disagreeable.
Wednesday, November 23. — We bought 37 pounds fresh beef at $2.50 per pound, for our Thanksgiving dinner. Last night very cold; the ground froze and ice formed. They have not yet found out the way Major Filler escaped. Very cold in the evening, as we had no wood.
Wednesday, 23d—We started at 7 a. m. and marched twelve miles, when we bivouacked for the night. It is reported that a force of two thousand rebels is in our front beyond the Oconee river, and that there has been some skirmishing. We crossed the Savannah railroad here at Station No. 15. This station was burned last July by General Stoneman in his raid toward Macon, Georgia. The country is very heavily timbered, mostly pitch pine, but there are some very nice plantations. The negroes have all been run off to keep them from falling into the hands of our army. We are now on three-fifths rations and are foraging for meat.