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.

June 7, 2013

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

June 7.—We are living in fear of a Yankee raid. They have a large force on York River, and are continually sending parties up the Pamunky and Mattapony Rivers, to devastate the country and annoy the inhabitants. Not long ago a party rode to the house of a gentleman on Mattapony; meeting him on the lawn, the commander accosted him: ” Mr. R., I understand you have the finest horses in King William County?” “Perhaps, sir, I have,” replied Mr. R. ” Well, sir,” said the officer, ” I want those horses immediately.” “They are not yours,” replied Mr. R, “and you can’t get them.” The officer began to curse, and said he would burn every house on the place if the horses were not produced. Suiting the action to the word, he handed a box of matches to a subordinate, saying, “Burn!” In half an hour Mr. R. saw fourteen of his houses in a light blaze, including the dwelling, the kitchen, corn-houses and barn filled with grain, meat-house filled with meat, and servants’ houses. Scarcely any thing was saved, not even the family clothes. But he did not get the horses, which were the objects of his peculiar wishes; the faithful servants had carried them away to a place of safety. How strange it is that we can be so calm, surrounded as we are by danger!

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