May __, 1865.—Mother has been sick with fever for three days past and I have paid no attention to my diary. Last night such a mysterious stranger came to us. I, who have the reputation of having no curiosity, am fairly eaten up with it. Father knows but does not tell. He says I must not write down what happened as it might endanger our visitor. He says I must not even put a date.
Mother’s illness was severe, she does not often have fever and we felt alarmed but she is much better this morning, even to the extent of eating a nice little squab, Adeline had broiled for her breakfast.
Something dreadful has happened dear Diary, I hardly know how to tell it, my dear black mammy has left us. I did not expect her to be the first to leave but it was not exactly her fault. Mother did not want Hannah to go out to Centreville where all those soldiers are encamped and when she found Lulu was dressing her in her prettiest clothes to take her there to spend the day, Mother told her Hannah must not go.
Lulu reminded her that they were now free and if she saw fit to take her daughter into that crowd it was nobody’s business.
Of course that angered Mother so she said, “If you disobey me in this matter you and your family must leave the place.”
Lulu did not believe she was in earnest and came in as usual to attend to her duties but Mother was firm and Lulu had to go and I am inconsolable, though I would not have Mother to know it for the world.
I feel lost, I feel as if someone is dead in the house. Whatever will I do without my Mammy? When she was going she stopped on the doorstep and, shaking her fist at Mother, she said:
“I’ll miss you—the Lord knows I’ll miss you—but you’ll miss me, too—you see if you don’t.”
Well, she is gone—I will try to wait on Mother so she will not miss her too much. I do not think Mother realizes they are free.