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.

May 16, 2013

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

May 16th.—We were aroused this morning before daylight, by reports that the Yankees were making a raid, and were very near this place. We all dressed hastily, and the gentlemen went out to devise means to stop the trains which were to pass through. Though within five miles of us, they became aware that notice had been given of their purpose, and they immediately turned their steps to some more private place, where they might rob and plunder without molestation. The miserable poltroons, when on one of their raids, will become frightened by the sudden rising of a covey of partridges, and be diverted from their course; then they will ride bravely to a house, where they know they will only find women and children; order meals to be prepared; search the house; take the valuables; feed their horses at the barns; take off the horses from the stables; shoot the pigs, sheep, and other stock, and leave them dead in the fields; rob the poultry-yards; then, after regaling themselves on the meals which have been prepared by force, with the threats of bayonets and pistols, they ride off, having pocketed the silver spoons and forks, which may have unwittingly been left in their way.

I have been in Richmond for two days past, nursing the wounded of our little hospital. Some of them are very severely injured, yet they are the most cheerful invalids I ever saw. It is remarked in all the hospitals that the cheerfulness of the wounded in proportion to their suffering is much greater than that of the sick. Under my care, yesterday, was one poor fellow, with a ball embedded in his neck; another with an amputated leg; one with a hole in his breast, through which a bullet had passed; another with a shattered arm; and others with slighter wounds; yet all showed indomitable spirit; evinced a readiness to be amused or interested in every thing around them; asked that the morning papers might be read to them, and gloried in their late victory; and expressed an anxiety to get well, that they may have another “chance at them fellows” The Yankees are said to have landed at West Point, and are thence sending out raiding parties over the country. Colonel Davis, who led the party here on the third, has been severely wounded by a scouting party, sent out by General Wise towards Tunstall’s Station. It is said he has lost his leg. So may it be!

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