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.

August 10, 2013

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

August 10.—Spent this morning in the house of mourning. Our neighbour Mrs. S. has lost her eldest son. The disease was “that most fatal of Pandora’s train,” consumption. He contracted it in the Western Army. His poor mother has watched the ebbing of his life for several months, and last night he died most suddenly. That young soldier related to me an anecdote, some weeks ago, with his short, oppressed breathing and broken sentences, which showed the horrors of this fratricidal war. He said that the day after a battle in Missouri, in the Fall of 1861, he, among others, was detailed to bury the dead. Some Yankee soldiers were on the field doing the same thing. As they turned over a dead man, he saw a Yankee stop, look intently, and then run to the spot with an exclamation of horror. In a moment he was on his knees by the body, in a paroxysm of grief. It was his brother. They were Missourians. The brother now dead had emigrated South some years before. He said that before the war communication had been kept up between them, and he had strongly suspected that he was in the army; he had consequently been in constant search of his brother. The Northern and Southern soldier then united in burying him, who was brother in arms of the one, and the mother’s son of the other!

The Bishop and Mrs. J. returned home to-day from their long trip in the South-west. They travelled with great comfort, but barely escaped a raid at Wytheville. We welcomed them gladly. So many of our family party are wandering about, that our little cottage has become lonely.

Mr. C. has come out, and reports a furious bombardment of Sumter. This has been going on so long, that I begin to feel that it is indeed impregnable.

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