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

Post image for Diary of David L. Day.

Diary of David L. Day.

April 28, 2013

David L Day–My diary of rambles with the 25th Mass

A Good Sensible Talk.

April 28. I was out in the country yesterday, doing picket duty, and fell in with an old gentleman with whom I had a good sensible talk. He was an intelligent, well appearing man, who said he was a farmer, or had been one until the breaking out of the war. He owns a plantation just outside our lines, but is not permitted to go into town. He is allowed to purchase in small quantities such articles as he may need by sending in his negro man or getting the boys to bring them out. He said at the commencement of the secession movement, he and all this part of the state, in fact nearly all of the state, was opposed to it, and in two state conventions, to both of which he was a delegate, the ordinance of secession was rejected, and not until after South Carolina on one side and Virginia on the other had gone out was the ordinance of secession passed.

He said: “Situated as we were we could not remain neutral, and although opposed to it from the beginning and all the time even after the war commenced and all our young men had gone into the army, it was but natural that I should sympathize with my own people.”

“Certainly,” I replied, “but have you any hopes of the ultimate success of the Confederacy?”

“None whatever, and I told our people so at our conventions. We are a ruined people and the best thing we can do is to make peace with the government on any terms we can.”

“Yes, but you know the terms are very simple, merely to lay down your arms and return to your loyalty to the government.”

“Yes, I know it is simple enough now, but I reckon the government at Richmond is not wise enough to accept it, and the longer they keep up the war the worse we are off, and in the end we will have to accept such terms as are dictated to us.”

A sensible old gentleman that, and I should have liked to go out to his place and sample his peach and honey, scuppernong and things.

Stokes Takes His Leave Of Us.

An order was received here today from the war department discharging Stokes from the service. When the order was read, it took him by surprise as it was his first intimation of it. He seemed disappointed and said he should like well enough to go home a few days, but did not like the idea of going to stay and thought he should be back with us again in a few weeks. He left for home this afternoon. I am sorry to lose Stokes and shall miss him very much. He was my chief of staff and I placed great reliance on him. He was one of our best boys, possessed of excellent judgment, and was unsurpassed in the secret service, I parted with him with many regrets and shall always retain pleasant memories of our soldier life.

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