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

Post image for Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne.

Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne.

February 28, 2014

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne

St. Helenaville, S.C., Sunday Evening,
February 28, 1864.

Rina was telling me of how the Rachel who lived in this house used to shelter her master here long after we all came, even till late in last summer. He used to sleep in the house every night and hide in the woods by day. It was only when the pickets were sent up here the last time that he got away.

In this dining-room there is a whipping-post and pulley for stretching and whipping. Then there leads off our fodder room and then Rina’s kitchen. Behind our north chamber there is a narrow slip of a room for a guest chamber; upstairs, two garrets, one for boxes and trunks, the other for our little Clarissa. To-night I asked her whether the clock (which Mrs. Phillips ordered out of the church and which is in our kitchen) was going. She said, “I dunno, ma’am, but I heardy him knock he bell.” She meant, strike.

We have two pomegranate [trees] and an apple tree, and three housefuls of people and children in our yard. We also have a lot for vegetable garden, and we give half the land for the culture of the other half for our table. We can be very comfortable, for whatever we lack Rina supplies. Once we had not a single thing to eat on the table which was not hers, and she furnishes our rooms and our cupboard with a great many articles we could neither get here nor do without. We burn kerosene and have a nice large lamp of Ellen’s.

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