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.

September 1, 2015

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne

September 1, 1865.

I am just contemplating taking a salary. The Committee have written to me about it again, and it will end, I suppose, by my doing it, though it will alter the aspect of things to me and drive me away, I think. Besides, I have now got the credit for being a volunteer, all over the country, and to sneak in for a salary seems too bad. I have had a very great deal of worry over it. If I could only afford to live without, I am sure it would be best policy, as well as best pleasure, to do it. But can I? … I suppose I must take for granted my inability to do without it, and so take the salary, for by all that I know of my means, this is the case.

Will[1] has had a very unpopular measure to carry — having the roads mended by voluntary labor, but the negroes turn out very well. He has most trouble with the white proprietors, who refuse to help, though they use the roads most. But through it all there is the best of feeling between the people and Will, and the respectable whites, Mr. Soule, etc., think a great deal of Will.

We hear reports and rumors that make us quake. It is that Beaufort and Hilton Head are to be closed as Government depots; that General Gillmore and General Saxton are going to live at Charleston; and this place is to be left alone in its glory. Misery! Already we have to send to Hilton Head for all our commissary stores — that is, for all we eat, except the little we can buy of the people, for there is no abatement in prices yet here, and we have to pay even at Ruggles’ twenty-five cents per pound for the coarsest of brown sugar, and the same for brown washing-soap. We teachers were to have the privilege of purchasing at the Commissary, and then the Commissary is removed so far we can’t get at it.

“Secesh” are coming back thick. One — Dr. Clarence Tripp — has half of Will’s house, another takes Dr. Hunting’s place, and lives on Ladies Island, flourishing on Government horses and saddles, for which he made a requisition on Will that Will was obliged to answer. They are crawlingly civil as yet, but will soon feel their oats.

[1] Miss Towne’s brother.

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