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.

July 3, 2013

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

July 3.—The scarcity of blank-books, and tne very high prices, make them unattainable to me; therefore I have determined to begin another volume of my Diary on some nice wrapping-paper which I happen to have; and though not very pleasant to write on, yet it is one of the least of my privations.

We are still worried by reports that the Yankees are very near us, and we are constantly expecting them to raid upon Ashland. We have a good force at “The Junction,” and at the bridge just above us, which they may respect, as they are dreadfully afraid of our forces.

Spent yesterday in the hospital; the wounded are getting on well. The city was put into a blaze of excitement by the report that General Dix was marching on it from the White House. I dare say they think that General Lee has left it. undefended, in which surmise they are vastly mistaken. Our troops seem to be walking over Pennsylvania without let or hindrance. They have taken possession of Chambersburg, Carlisle, and other smaller towns. They surrendered without firing a gun. I am glad to see that General Lee orders his soldiers to respect private property; but it will be difficult to make an incensed soldiery, whose houses have in many instances been burned, crops wantonly destroyed, horses stolen, negroes persuaded off, hogs and sheep shot down and left in the field in warm weather—it will be difficult to make such sufferers remember the Christian precept of returning good for evil. The soldiers in the hospital seem to think that many a private torch will be applied “just for revenge.” It was in vain that I quoted to them, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” One stoutly maintained that he would like to go North “just to burn two good houses: one in return for my own house on Mississippi River; the other for that of my brother-in-law, both of which they burned just after landing from their boat, with no pretence at an excuse for it; and when I think of my wife and children homeless, I feel as if I could set all Yankeedom in a blaze.” Poor fellow! he became so excited that he arose in his bed, as if impatient to be off and at his work of vengeance. I am glad to hear that quantities of horses and fat cattle are driven into Virginia.

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