Richmond, October 15th.—Yesterday morning my sister M., J. W., and myself, drove up from W. to the depot, seven miles, in a wagon, with four mules. It was a charming morning, and we had a delightful ride; took the accommodation cars at twelve and arrived here at two. We drove to the Exchange, and were [...]
Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire
9th.—A very pleasant day at S. H. The ladies all busily knitting for our soldiers—oh, that we could make them comfortable for the winter!
October 1st.—Letters from Winchester, giving cheering accounts of our army. It is stationed at Bunker's Hill, twelve miles from Winchester, greatly increased since our recent fights, and in fine spirits. We leave Lynchburg to-morrow, and after spending a few days with our friends at the University, proceed to Richmond and Ashland.
30th.—The Richmond Examiner of yesterday contains Lincoln's Proclamation, declaring all the negroes free from the 1st of January next! The Abolition papers are in ecstasies; as if they did not know that it can only be carried out within their lines, and there they have been practically free from the moment we were invaded. The [...]
25th.—The tables were turned on Saturday, as we succeeded in driving a good many of them into the Potomac. Ten thousand Yankees crossed at Shepherdstown, but unfortunately for them, they found the glorious Stonewall there. A fight ensued at Boteler's Mill, in which General Jackson totally routed General Pleasanton and his command. The account of [...]
24th.—Still no official account of the Sharpsburg fight, and no list .of casualties. The Yankee loss in generals very great—they must have fought desperately. Reno, Mansfield, and Miles were killed; others badly wounded. The Yankee papers say that their loss of "field officers is unaccountable;" and add, that but for the wounding of General Hooker, [...]
Monday Night, September 22d.—Probably the most desperate battle of the war was fought last Wednesday near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Great loss on both sides. The Yankees claim a great victory, while our men do the same. We were left in possession of the field on Wednesday night, and buried our dead on Thursday. Want of food [...]
Saturday, September 20th.—An official account in the morning's paper of the surrender of Harper's Ferry to our men on Sunday last. Colonel Miles, the Federal commander, surrendered, unconditionally, to General Jackson, 11,000 prisoners, 50 pieces of artillery, 12,000 stand of arms, ammunition, quartermaster and commissary stores in large quantities. McClellan attempted to come to the [...]
September 18th.—Thanksgiving-day for our victoriesl We went to church this morning and heard Mr. K's admirable sermon from 1st Sam., chap, vii., v. 12: "Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." Oh! I trust that this [...]
Tuesday, September 16th.—The papers to-day give no account of our army in Maryland. General Loring has been successful in the Kanawha Valley, in driving the enemy, taking prisoners, and 5,000 stand of arms, etc. Our success in the West still continues. Kentucky is represented to be in a flame of excitement. General Kirby Smith asks [...]
Sunday.—Just returned from church. Mr. K. gave us a delightful sermon on our dependence on God as a people. "When Moses held up his hand, then Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, then Amalek prevailed." Oh, that our hands may always be "held up" for our cause and armies! Next Thursday (18th) [...]
September 12.—No news from the army, except a letter in the morning's paper speaking of General Lee's being pleased with his reception in Maryland, and that our troops are foraging in Pennsylvania. I hope so; I like the idea of our army subsisting on the enemy; they certainly have subsisted on us enough to be [...]
5th.—Our son J. arrived last night with quite a party, his health greatly suffering from over-work in Richmond during these exciting times. One of the party told me an anecdote of General J. E. B. Stuart, which pleased me greatly. Mrs. S. was in the cars, and near her sat a youth, in all the [...]
4th.—Our victory at Manassas complete; the fight lasted four days. General Kearney was killed in a cavalry fight at Chantilly. Beautiful Chantilly has become a glorious battle-field. The splendid trees and other lovely surroundings all gone; but it is classic ground from this time. In those fights I had eight nephews! Are they all safe? [...]
3d.—Wild stories on the street this morning, of the capture of prisoners, killing of generals, etc. Burnside and staff captured, they say. This last too good to be true.
Lynchburg, September 2.—The papers to-day give glorious news of a victory to our arms on the plains of Manassas, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. I will give General Lee's telegram: Army of Northern Virginia, Groveton, August 30 – 10 P.M. Via Rapidan "To President Davis:—This army achieved to-day, on the plains of Manassas, a [...]
August 30th.—A package arrived last night from our sisters, with my sister M's diary, for my amusement. It was kept while our dear ones of W. and S. H. were surrounded by McClellan's army. I shall use my leisure here in copying it, that our children's children may know all that our family suffered during [...]
29th.—The Richmond papers of yesterday mention two severe skirmishes on the Rappahannock within a week The enemy are retreating through Culpeper, Orange, etc., and our men are driving them on. General Jackson has reached Warrenton. Burnside's army is said to be near Fredericksburg, and Pope retreating towards Manassas. The safe situation of this town makes [...]
Lynchburg, August 20.—Mr. _______ and myself arrived here last night, after a most fatiguing trip, by Clarksville, Buffalo Springs, then to Wolfs Trap Station on the Danville road, and on to the Southside Railroad. The cars were filled with soldiers on furlough. It was pleasant to see how cheerful they were. Poor fellows! it is [...]
9th.—We hear of a little cavalry fight at Orange Court-House, in which we drove off the enemy. General Pope continues to commit depredations in his district of operations. He seems to have taken Butler as his model, and even to exceed him in ferocity. Our President has just given most sensible orders for retaliation. The [...]
August 5.—The papers of last night brought us no news, except that our troops are firing upon the enemy's gun-boats near Coggin's Point. The result not known. A battle between Jackson and Pope still imminent. Major Bailey made a brilliant cavalry raid a few days since upon the enemy in Nicholas County, in which he [...]
August 4.—The girls just returned from a visit to Mrs. A. of several days, which they enjoyed greatly. Every thing there very bright and cheerful, except the hearts of the parents—they yearn for their sons on the field of danger! A battle is now expected between Jackson and Pope.
July 29.—No army news. In this quiet nook mail-day is looked forward to with the greatest anxiety, and the newspapers are read with avidity from beginning to end— embracing Southern rumours, official statements, army telegrams, Yankee extravaganzas, and the various et caeteras. The sick and wounded in the various hospitals are subjects for thought and [...]
28th.—The report of Hindman's having captured Curtis untrue; but our army is doing well in the West. Murfreesboro', in Tennessee, has been captured by Confederates—a brigade, two brigadiers, and other officers, taken. "Jack Morgan" is annoying and capturing the Kentucky Yankees. The true Southerners there must endure an almost unbearable thraldom! A long letter from [...]
23d.—Letters and papers to-day. It is reported that Hindman has captured Curtis and his whole command in Arkansas. Delightful, if true. The army hi Virginia, and our dear ones, well.