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

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne.

June 24, 2012

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne

Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

[Diary] June 24, Tuesday.

We had a serenade last night. It was given by Holbrook, Fuller, and others. They spoke about it at breakfast and General Hunter laughed heartily as they wanted to know why it was not appreciated by the household. We had a very cosy, sociable, pleasant meal. Mrs. Dibble, or Dibbil, the wife of an officer on Morris Island, who stays with Mrs. Hunter, shared her room with me, and after the serenade we slept well. I had another long talk with General and Mrs. Hunter. I told him of the assault upon Mr. Pierce, and the cotton agents’ evil doings generally. He says he shall burn Charleston if he ever has a chance to take it, but that he has no chance now, for all his troops are withdrawn except barely enough for defence. He is a generous but too impulsive man, kind to a fault to his soldiers, and more anti-slavery than I expected. He wore a loose undress coat made of white cassimir and a straw hat, when walking on the piazza. His manner is very quick and decided, and to his wife, attentive and as if he were much attached to her. He told me how she went with him on all his campaigns and how impossible it was for him to do without her; and she told me how he had suffered with the cut across the cheek and wound in the ankle which he received at Ball’s Bluff, I think, or Bull Run. I spoke of Fremont admiringly, and he blazed up. “I admire his anti-slavery,” I said, “and his proclamation.” “That was well,” he replied, “but his military operations were ridiculous and he came near losing Missouri;” and he said, I think, that he was not trustworthy.

“There’s that guard asleep again,” he said once. “Let him sleep, David,” urged his wife. “How would you like to stand and walk about so long uselessly with a heavy gun on your shoulder in the hot sun? Let him sleep, David.” “Oh, you would keep pretty order in my camp,” he said, laughingly, and let the man sleep.

Mr. French took me back, in the Locust Point, to Beaufort.

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