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

Post image for Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

April 4, 2013

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

April 4th.—Spent to-day in Richmond, attending on the wounded. The mob of women came out yesterday, but in smaller numbers, and was easily put down by military authority. To-day a repetition was expected, and the cannon was in place to rake the streets, but they thought discretion the better part of valour, and staid at home. The riot, it is ascertained, was not caused by want; it was no doubt set on foot by Union influences. I saw the Rev. Mr. Peterkin, who is perhaps more thoroughly acquainted with the state of the poor than any man in the city. He says that they are admirably attended to. Large sums of money are put in the hands of the clergy for their benefit; this money is disbursed by ladies, whose duty and pleasure it is to relieve the suffering. One gentleman gave as much as $5,000 last winter. Besides this, the industrious poor are supplied with work by the Government, and regularly paid for it.

The Bishop set off this morning for his spring visitations, which are becoming, alas! very circumscribed—so much of the diocese is in the hands of the enemy.

Mr. C., of Georgetown, Captain Norton, of New Orleans, and Mr. A. S. are with us. The first of these gentlemen ran the blockade from his home some months ago, finding he was to be arrested for opinion’s sake, and now holds a Confederate office in Richmond. He very rarely hears from his wife and children. Flag-of-truce letters seldom reach their destination, and when they do, letters of one page, written to be inspected by strangers, are very unsatisfactory. An occasional “underground” communication comes to him, like water in a thirsty land. I often look at his calm countenance with sympathy, knowing that there must be deep sorrow and anxiety underneath.

Previous post:

Next post: