Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

21st.—Bad news this morning. General Early has had a defeat in the Valley, near Winchester, and has fallen back to Strasburg. Our loss reported heavy. Major-General Rodes killed, and Brigadier-General Godwin and General Fitz Lee wounded. No other casualties heard of; and I dread to hear more.

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18th.—Nothing yet from Mr. —— about our rooms. All the furnished rooms that I have seen, except those, would cost us from $100 to $110 per month for each room, which, of course, we cannot pay; but we will try and not be anxious overmuch, for the Lord has never let us want comforts since we left our own dear home, and if we use the means which He has given us properly and in His fear, He will not desert us now.

I went with Mr. —— as usual this morning to the “Officers’ Hospital,” where he read a part of the service and delivered an address to such patients among the soldiers as were well enough to attend. I acted as his chorister, and when the services were over, and he went around to the bedsides of the patients, I crossed the street, as I have done several times before, to the cemetery—the old “Shockoe Hill Cemetery.” It is, to me, the most interesting spot in the city. It is a melancholy thought, that, after an absence of thirty years, I am almost a stranger in my native place. In this cemetery I go from spot to spot, and find the names that were the household words of my childhood and youth; the names of my father’s and mother’s friends; of the friends of my sisters, and of my own school-days. The first that struck me was that of the venerable and venerated Bishop Moore, on the monument erected by his church; then, that of his daughter, the admirable Miss Christian; then the monument to Colonel Ambler, erected by his children. Mrs. Ambler lies by him. Mr. and Mrs. Chapman Johnson, Judge and Mrs. Cabell, Mr. and Mrs. John Wickham, surrounded by their children, who were the companions of my youth; also, their lovely grand-daughter, Mrs. W. H. F. Lee, who passed away last winter, at an early age, while her husband was prisoner of war. Near them is the grave of the Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh; of Judge and Mrs. Stanard, and of their gifted son; of dear Mrs. Henningham Lyons and her son James, from whose untimely end she never recovered; of our sweet friend, Mrs. Lucy Green. Then there is the handsome monument of Mrs. Abraham Warwick and the grave of her son, dear Clarence, who died so nobly at Gaines’s Mill in 1862. His grave seems to be always covered with fresh flowers, a beautiful offering to one whose young life was so freely given to his country. Again I stood beside the tombs of two friends, whom I dearly loved, Mrs. Virginia Heth and Mrs. Mary Ann Barney, the lovely daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gwathney, whose graves are also there. Then the tomb of our old friend, Mr. James Rawlings, and those of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert A. Claiborne and their daughter, Mary Burnet. Just by them is the newly-made grave of our sweet niece, Mary Anna, the wife of Mr. H. Augustine Claiborne, freshly turfed and decked with the flowers she loved so dearly. A little farther on lies my young cousin, Virginia, wife of Major J. H. Claiborne, and her two little daughters. But why should I go on? Time would fail me to enumerate all the loved and lost. Their graves look so peaceful in that lovely spot. Most of them died before war came to distress them. The names of two persons I cannot omit, before whose tombs I pause with a feeling of veneration for their many virtues. One was that of Mrs. Sully, my music-teacher, a lady who was known and respected by the whole community for her admirable character, accompanied by the most quiet and gentle manner. The other was that of Mr. Joseph Danforth, the humble but excellent friend of my precious father. The cemetery at Hollywood is of later date, though many very dear to me repose amid its beautiful shades.

But enough of the past and of sadness. I must now turn to busy life again, and note a little victory, of which General Lee telegraphed yesterday, by which we gained some four hundred prisoners, many horses and wagons, and 2,500 beeves. These last are most acceptable to our commissariat!

The Southern Army are having an armistice of ten days, for the inhabitants of Atlanta to get off from their homes. Exiled by Sherman, my heart bleeds for them. May the good Lord have mercy upon them, and have them in His holy keeping!

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16th.—A visit to-day from my brother Dr. B., who bears the utter desolation of his home quietly, though so sudden a change of circumstances is of course very depressing. He tells me that he has lately had a visit from a very interesting young South Carolinian, who came to look for the body of his brother. The two brothers were being educated in Germany when the war broke out; and as soon as they were of military age, with the consent of their parents, they hastened home to take part in their country’s struggle. In one of the cavalry fights in Hanover, in May last, one brother was killed, and the other, “not being able to find the body at the time, was now seeking it.” His mother was on the ocean returning to her home, and he could not meet her with the information that her son’s body could not be found. He had heard that some of the fallen had been buried at S. H. or W. He mentioned that their intimate friend, young Middleton, had fallen in the same fight. Mr. Middleton had been buried at S. H., and his grave had been marked by Mrs. N.; but young Pringle (the name of the brothers) had been carried to neither place. Mr. Pringle had seen in a New York paper an account given by a Yankee officer of several wounded Confederates who had been captured, and having died on their way to the “White House,” they were buried by the roadside, and he had some reason to believe that his brother was among them. It was then remembered that there were three graves on the opposite side of the Pamunky River, and one was marked with the name “Tingle.” It was an excessively warm Sunday morning; but as the young soldier’s furlough only extended to the following day, there was no time to be lost. Dr. B. and the brother set out upon their melancholy mission, having obtained a cart, one or two men, and given an order at a neighbouring carpenter’s shop for a coffin. After crossing the river they found the three graves, at the place designated, in the county of King William. The one marked “Tingle ” contained the body of a Federal and one of a Confederate soldier, but not the brother. The next one opened was not the right one; but the third contained the much-loved remains, which were easily recognized by the anxious brother. Tenderly and gently, all wrapped in his blanket, he was transferred from his shallow grave to his soldier’s coffin, and then conveyed to S. H., to be placed by his friend Middleton. It was now night, the moon shone brightly, and all was ready. The families from both houses gathered around the grave. “Slowly and sadly they laid him down.” No minister of the Gospel was near to perform the services. Dr. B. stood at the head with a Prayer-Book for the purpose, but his defective sight obliged him to yield the book to Mrs. N., who, with a clear, calm voice read by the light of a single lantern the beautiful ritual of the Episcopal Church. The grave was filled in solemn silence, the brother standing at the foot. When all was over, the young ladies and children of the families advanced with wreaths and bouquets, and in an instant the soldier’s grave was a mound of fresh flowers. The brother could no longer restrain his feelings; he was completely overwhelmed, and was obliged to retire to his room, where he could indulge them freely. Next morning he returned to his command, after a leave-taking in which the feelings expressed by all parties evinced more of the friendship of years than the acquaintance of hours. It seems strange indeed that this scene, so similar to that of the burial of the lamented Captain Latane, should have occurred at the same place. But who could relate, who could number the sad scenes of this war? Many such have probably occurred in various parts of the country.

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12th.—After holding a consultation with a particular friend of Dr. M., together with Mr. —— and the “Colonel,” we have determined to await the decision of Mr. —— about the rooms on Franklin Street, and not to attempt to get others, hoping that as there are so many competitors for them, we may be considered the rightful claimants. There can be no doubt that they were promised to us.

The morning papers report “all quiet” at Petersburg, except that shells are daily thrown into the city, and that many of the women and children are living in tents in the country, so as to be out of the reach of shells.

The death of the bold and dashing General Morgan is deeply regretted. He has done us great service throughout the war, but particularly since his wonderful escape from his incarceration in the Ohio Penitentiary. It seems so short a time since he was here, all classes delighting to do him reverence. It is hard for us to have to give up such men.

General Hood telegraphs that the inhabitants of Atlanta have been ordered to leave their homes, to go they know not whither. Lord, how long must we suffer such things? I pray that the enemy’s hands may be stayed, and that they may be driven from our fair borders to their own land. I ask not vengeance upon them, but that they may be driven to their own homes, and that we may be henceforward and forever a separate people.

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10th.—We must give up our rooms by the last of this month, and the question now arises about our future abode. We are searching hither and thither. We had thought for a week past that our arrangements were most delightfully made, and that we had procured, together with Dr. M. and Colonel G., six rooms in a house on Franklin Street. The arrangement had been made, and the proprietor gone from town. The M’s and ourselves were to take four rooms in the third story; the back parlour on the first floor was to be used by all parties; and Colonel G, would take the large front basement room as his chamber, and at his request, as our dining-room, as we could not be allowed to use the upper chambers as eating-rooms. Our large screen was to be transferred to the Colonel’s bedstead and washing apparatus, and the rest of the room furnished in dining-room style. These rooms are all furnished and carpeted. Nothing could have suited us better, and we have been for some days anticipating our comfortable winter-quarters. The M’s have left town with the blissful assurance of a nice home; to add to it all, the family of the proprietor is all that we could desire as friends and companions. Last night I met with a friend, who asked me where we had obtained rooms. I described them with great alacrity and pleasure. She looked surprised, and said, “Are you not mistaken? those rooms are already occupied.” “Impossible,” said I; “we have engaged them.” She shook her head, saying, ” There was some mistake; they have been occupied for some days by a family, who say that they have rented them.” None but persons situated exactly in the same way can imagine our disappointment. The Colonel looked aghast; Mr. —— pronounced it a mistake; the girls were indignant, and I went a little farther, and pronounced it bad treatment. This morning I went up before breakfast to hear the truth of the story—the family is still absent, but the servants confirmed the statement by saying that a family had been in the rooms that we looked at for a week, and that a gentleman, a third party, had been up the day before to claim the rooms, and said that the party occupying them had no right to them, and must be turned out. The servant added, that this third gentleman had sent up a dray with flour which was now in the house, and had put his coal in the coal-cellar. All this seems passing strange. Thus have we but three weeks before us in which to provide ourselves with an almost impossible shelter. The “Colonel” has written to Mr. —— for an explanation, and the M’s have been apprised of their dashed hopes. I often think how little the possessors of the luxurious homes of Richmond know of the difficulties with which refugees are surrounded, and how little we ever appreciated the secure home-feeling which we had all enjoyed before the war began. We have this evening been out again in pursuit of quarters. The advertisements of “Rooms to let” were sprinkled over the morning papers, so that one could scarcely believe that there would be any difficulty in our being supplied. A small house that would accommodate our whole party, five or six rooms in a large house, or two rooms for ourselves, if it were impossible to do better, would answer our purpose—any thing for a comfortable home. The first advertisement alluded to basement rooms—damp, and redolent of rheumatism. The next was more attractive—good rooms, well furnished, and up but two flights of stairs; but the price was enormous, far beyond the means of any of the party, and so evidently an extortion designed to take all that could be extracted from the necessity of others, that we turned from our hard-featured proprietor with disgust. The rooms of the third advertisement had been already rented, and the fourth seemed more like answering our purpose than any we had seen. There were only two rooms, and though small, and rather dark, yet persons whose shelter was likely to be the “blue vault of heaven” could not be very particular. The price, too, was exorbitant, but with a little more self-denial it might be paid. The next inquiry was about kitchen, servant’s room and coal-house; but we got no further than the answer about the kitchen. The lady said there was no kitchen that we could possibly use; her stove was small, and she required it all; we must either be supplied from a restaurant, or do our own cooking in one of the rooms. As neither plan was to be thought of, we ended the parley. A part of a kitchen is indispensable, though perhaps the most annoying thing to which refugees are subjected. The mistress is generally polite enough, but save me from the self-sufficient cook. “I would like to oblige you, madam, but you can’t have loaf-bread to-morrow morning, because my mistress has ordered loaf-bread and rolls, and our stove is small;” or, “No, madam, you can’t ‘bile’ a ham, nor nothing else to-day, because it is our washing-day;” or, ” No, ma’am, you can’t have biscuits for tea, because the stove is cold, and I’ve got no time to heat it.” So that we must either submit, or go to the mistress for redress, and probably find none, and thus run the risk of offending both mistress and maid, both of whom have us very much in their power. As I walked home from this unsuccessful effort, it was nearly dark; the gas was being lighted in hall, parlour, and chamber. I looked in as I passed, and saw cheerful countenances collecting around centre-tables, or sitting here and there on handsome porticoes or marble steps, to enjoy the cool evening breeze—countenances of those whose families I had known from infancy, and who were still numbered among my friends and acquaintances. I felt sad, and asked myself, if those persons could realize the wants of others, would they not cheerfully rent some of their extra rooms? Rooms once opened on grand occasions, and now, as such occasions are few and far between, not opened at all for weeks and months together.

Would they not cheerfully remove some of their showy and fragile furniture for a time, and allow those who had once been accustomed to as large rooms of their own, to occupy and take care of them? The rent would perhaps be no object with them, but their kindness might be twice blessed—the refugees would be made comfortable and happy, and the money might be applied to the wants of the soldiers or the city poor. And yet a third blessing might be added—the luxury of doing good. Ah, they would then find that the “quality of mercy is not strained,” but that it would indeed, like the “gentle dew from heaven,” fall into their very souls, and diffuse a happiness of which they know not. These thoughts filled my mind until I reached the present home of a refugee friend from Washington. It was very late, but I thought I would run in, and see if she could throw any light upon our difficulties. I was sorry to find that she was in a similar situation, her husband having that day been notified that their rooms would be required on the first of October. We compared notes of our room-hunting experiences, and soon found ourselves laughing heartily over occurrences and conversations which were both provoking and ridiculous. I then wended my way home, amid brilliantly lighted houses and badly lighted streets. Squads of soldiers were sauntering along, impregnating the air with tobacco-smoke; men were standing at every corner, lamenting the fall of Atlanta or the untimely end of General Morgan. I too often caught a word, conveying blame of the President for having removed General Johnston. This blame always irritates me, because the public became so impatient at General Johnston’s want of action, that they were clamorous for his removal. For weeks the President was abused without measure because he was not removed, and now the same people are using the same terms towards him because the course which they absolutely required at his hands has disappointed them. The same people who a month ago curled the lip in scorn at General Johnston’s sloth and want of energy, and praised General Hood’s course from the beginning of the war, now shrug their unmilitary shoulders, whose straps have never graced a battle-field, and pronounce the change “unfortunate and uncalled for.” General Hood, they say, was an “admirable Brigadier,” but his “promotion was most unfortunate;” while General Johnston’s “Fabian policy” is now pronounced the very thing for the “situation “— the course which would have saved Atlanta, and have made all right. This may all be true, but it is very distressing to hear it harped upon now; quite as much so as it was six weeks ago to hear the President called obstinate, because he was ruining the country by not removing General J. But I will no longer make myself uneasy about what I hear, for I have implicit confidence in our leaders, both in the Cabinet and on the field. Were I a credulous woman, and ready to believe all that I hear in the office, in the hospital, in my visits and on the streets, I should think that Richmond is now filled with the most accomplished military geniuses on which the sun shines. Each man expresses himself, as an old friend would say, with the most “dogmatic infallibility” of the conduct of the President, General Lee, General Johnston, General Hampton, General Beauregard, General Wise, together with all the other lights of every degree. It is true that there are as many varieties of opinion as there are men expressing them, or I should profoundly regret that so much military light should be obscured among the shades of the Richmond Departments; but I do wish that some of them would refrain from condemning the acts of our leaders, and from uttering such awful prophecies, provided the President or General Lee does not do so and so. Although I do not believe their forebodings, yet the reiteration of such opinions, in the most assured tones, makes me nervous and uneasy. I would that all such men could be sent to the field; I think at least a regiment could be spared from Richmond, for then the women of the city at least would be more peaceful.

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September 1. — —— has this day entered on her duties as clerk in the “Surgeon-General’s Department,” which she obtained with very little trouble on her part. We had always objected to her applying for an office, because we were afraid of the effect of sedentary employment on her health; but now it seems necessary to us, as the prices of provisions and house-rent have become so very high. Providence has dealt most mercifully with us from the beginning of the war: at first it seemed to be the pleasure of our friends as well as ourselves that we should be with them; then, when it became evident that the war would continue, Mr. —— obtained an office, which gave us a limited, but independent, support. Then, when prices became high, and we could not live on the salary, the chaplaincy came, with a little better income. As provisions continued to increase in price, and our prospect seemed very poor for the winter, my office was obtained without the least effort on my part, though I had often sought one in the Treasury without success; and now, when difficulties seem to be increasing with the great scarcity of provisions, the way is again made comparatively easy. So it seems that the Lord intends us to work for our daily bread, and to be independent, but not to abound.

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31st.—The last day of this exciting, troubled summer of 1864. How many young spirits have fled—how many bleeding, breaking hearts have been left upon earth, from the sanguinary work of this summer! Grant still remains near Petersburg; still by that means is he besieging Richmond. He has been baffled at all points, and yet his indomitable perseverance knows no bounds. Sherman still besieges Atlanta. God help us!

We are again troubled in mind and body about engaging rooms; we find we must give up these by the 1st of October, and have begun the usual refugee occupation of room-hunting.

Letters from our friends in the Valley, describing the horrors now going on there. A relative witnessed the burning of three very large residences on the 20th of August. General Custar was stationed with his brigade of Michigan Cavalry near Berryville. He had thrown out pickets on all the roads, some of which were fired on by Mosby’s men. This so exasperated the Federals, that an order was at once issued that whenever a picket-post was fired on the nearest house should be burned. On the morning of the 20th this dreadful order was put into execution, and three large houses were burnt to the ground, together with barns, wheat-stacks, and outhouses. The house of Mr. —— was near a picket-post, and about midnight on the 19th a messenger arrived with a note announcing the sudden death of Mrs.—— ‘s sister, on a plantation not many miles distant. A lamp was lighted to read the note, and, unfortunately, a little while afterwards the picket-post was fired on and one man wounded. The lighting of the lamp was regarded as a signal to Colonel Mosby. During the same night the pickets near two other large houses were fired on. This being reported at head-quarters, the order was at once issued to burn all three houses. Two companies of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, commanded by Captain Drake, executed the fearful order. They drew up in front of Mr. ——’s house and asked for him. ” Are you Mr. ——?” demanded the Captain. “I have orders to burn your house.” In vain Mr. —— remonstrated. He begged for one hour, that he might see General Custar and explain the circumstances of the night before; he also pleaded the illness of his son-in-law, then in the house. No reply was vouchsafed to the old gentleman, but with a look of hardened ferocity, he turned to the soldiers, with the order: “Men, to your work, and do it thoroughly!” In an instant the torch was applied to that home of domestic elegance and comfort. One soldier seized the sick son-in-law, who is a surgeon in our service, threatening to carry him to head-quarters, and was with difficulty prevented by the kind interposition of Dr. Sinclair, the surgeon of the regiment. They allowed the family to save as much furniture as they could. but the servants were all gone, and there was no one near to help them. The soldiers at once went to Mr. —— ‘s secretary, containing $40,000 in bonds, destroyed it, and scattered the mutilated papers to the winds. Matches were applied to window and bed curtains; burning coals were sprinkled in the linen-closet, containing every variety of house and table linen. Mrs. ——, the daughter, opened a drawer, and taking her jewelry, embracing an elegant diamond ring and other valuables, was escaping with them to the yard, when she was seized by two ruffians on the stair-steps, held by the arms by one, while the other forcibly took the jewels; they then, as she is a very small woman, lifted her over the banister and let her drop into the passage below; fortunately it was not very far and she was not at all injured. Nothing daunted, she rushed up-stairs, to rescue a box containing her bridal presents of silver, which was concealed in the wall above a closet. She climbed up to the highest shelf of the closet, seized the box, and, with unnatural strength, threw .it through the window into the yard below. While still on the shelf, securing other things from their hiding-place, all unconscious of danger, a soldier set fire to some dresses hanging on the pegs below the shelf on which she stood. The first intimation she had of it was feeling the heat; she then leaped over the flames to the floor; her stockings were scorched, but she was not injured. She next saw a man with the sign of the Cross on his coat; she asked him if he was a chaplain? He replied that he was. She said, “Then in mercy come, and help me to save some of my mother’s things.” They went into her mother’s chamber, and she hurriedly opened the bureau drawer, and began taking out the clothes, the chaplain assisting, but what was her horror to see him putting whatever he fancied into his pocket—among other things a paper of pins. She says she could not help saying, as she turned to him, A minister of Christ stealing pins!!” In a moment the chaplain was gone, but the pins were returned to the bureau. Mrs. —— is the only daughter of Mr. —— , and was the only lady on the spot. Her first care, when she found the house burning, was to secure her baby, which was sleeping in its cradle up-stairs. A guard was at the foot of the steps, and refused to let her pass; she told him that she was going to rescue her child from the flames. “Let the little d——d rebel burn!” was the brutal reply. But his bayonet could not stop her; she ran by, and soon returned, bearing her child to a place of safety. When the house had be come a heap of ruins, the mother returned from the bedside of her dead sister, whither she had gone at daylight that morning, on horseback, (for her harness had been destroyed by the enemy, making her carriage useless.) She was, of course, overwhelmed with grief and with horror at the scene before her. As soon as she dismounted, a soldier leaped on the horse, and rode off with it. Their work of destruction in one place being now over, they left it for another scene of vengeance.

The same ceremony of Captain Drake’s announcing his orders to the mistress of the mansion (the master was a prisoner) being over, the torch was applied. The men had dismounted; the work of pillage was going on merrily; the house was burning in every part, to insure total destruction. The hurried tramp of horses’ feet could not be heard amidst the crackling of flames and falling of rafters, but the sudden shout and cry of “No quarter! no quarter!” from many voices, resounded in the ears of the unsuspecting marauders as a death-knell. A company of Mosby’s men rushed up the hill and charged them furiously; they were aroused by the sound of danger, and fled hither and thither. Terrified and helpless, they were utterly unprepared for resistance. The cry of “No quarter! no quarter!” still continued. They hid behind the burning ruins; they crouched in the corners of fences; they begged for life; but their day of grace was past. The defenceless women, children, and old men of the neighbourhood had borne their tortures too long; something must be done, and all that this one company of braves could do, was done. Thirty were killed on the spot, and others, wounded and bleeding, sought refuge, and asked pity of those whom they were endeavouring to ruin. ——writes: “Two came to us, the most pitiable objects you ever beheld, and we did what we could for them; for, after all, the men are not to blame half so much as the officers. Whether these things have been ordered by Sheridan or Custar, we do not know. These two wounded men, and all who took refuge among Secessionists, were removed that night, contrary to our wishes, for we knew that their tortures in the ambulances would be unbearable; but they were unwilling to trust them, and unable to believe that persons who were suffering so severely from them could return good for evil.

“One man gruffly remarked: ‘If we leave any of them with you all, Mosby will come and kill them over again.’ We have since heard that those two men died that night. The pickets were then drawn in nearer to head quarters. All was quiet for the rest of the day, and as Colonel Mosby had but one company in that section of the country, it had of course retired. That night, two regiments (for they could not trust themselves in smaller numbers) were seen passing along the road; their course was marked by the torches which they carried. They rode to the third devoted house, and burned it to the ground. No one knows whose house will be the next object of revenge. Some fancied wrong may make us all homeless. We keep clothes, house-linen, and every thing compressible, tied up in bundles, so that they can be easily removed.”

Such are some of the horrors that are being enacted in Virginia at this time. These instances, among many, many others, I note in my diary, that my children’s children may know what we suffer during this unnatural war. Sheridan does not mean that Hunter or Butler shall bear the palm of cruelty—-honours will at least be divided. I fear, from appearances, that he will exceed them, before his reign of terror is over. —— says she feels as if she were nightly encircled by fire—camp-fires, picket-fires, with here and there stacks of wheat burning, and a large fire now and then in the distance, denote the destruction of something— it may be a dwelling, or it may be a barn.

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22d.—Just been on a shopping expedition for my sister and niece, and spent $1,500 in about an hour. I gave $110 for ladies’ morocco boots; $22 per yard for linen; $5 apiece for spools of cotton; $5 for a paper of pins, etc. It would be utterly absurd, except that it is melancholy, to see our currency depreciating so rapidly.

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20th.—A friend from the Valley has described a successful attack made by Mosby on a Federal wagon-train near Berryville. It was on its way to the army near Strasburg, and Mosby was on the other side of the Shenandoah. He crossed in the night with one cannon and about seventy-five men, and at daylight surprised the drivers and guard as they were beginning to hitch their mules, by a salute from the cannon and seventy-five pistols. There was a general stampede in an instant of all who were unhurt. As quick as thought, 600 mules were turned towards the river, and driven to the command in Loudoun. In the mean time, the wagons were set on fire, and most of them and their contents were consumed before the luckless drivers could return to their charge.

It is said that our new steamer, the “Tallahassee,” has been within sixty miles of the city of New York, very much to the terror of the citizens. It also destroyed six large vessels. I bid it God-speed with all my heart; I want the North to feel the war to its core, and then it will end, and not before.

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18th.—For several days our whole time has been occupied nursing the dear little grandchild, whose life was despaired of for two days. We are most thankful for his recovery

The army is now on the north side of James River, and this evening, at this moment, we hear heavy cannonading, and musketry is distinctly heard from the hills around the city. Oh, Heavenly Father! guide our generals and troops, and cause this sanguinary conflict to end by a desirable, an honourable peace!

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