15th.—General Stuart has just returned to camp after a most wonderful and successful raid. He left Richmond two or three days ago with a portion of his command; went to Hanover Court-House, where he found a body of the enemy; repulsed them, killing and wounding several, and losing one gallant man, Captain Latane, of the [...]
Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire
June 12.—We are more successful in Virginia than elsewhere. The whole Mississippi River, except Vicksburg and its environs, is now in the hands of the enemy, and that place must surrender, though it holds out most nobly, amidst the most inveterate efforts to take it. Memphis has fallen! How my spirit chafes and grieves over [...]
9th, Night.—General Jackson is performing prodigies of valor in the Valley; he has met the forces of Fremont and Shields, and whipped them in detail. They fought at Cross Keys and Port Republic yesterday and to-day. I must preserve his last dispatch, it is so characteristic: "Through God's blessing, the enemy, near Port Republic, was [...]
2d.—The battle continued yesterday near the field of the day before. We gained the day! For this victory we are most thankful. The enemy were repulsed with fearful loss; but our loss was great. The wounded were brought until a late hour last night, and to-day the hospitals have been crowded with ladies, offering their [...]
June 1.—The loss yesterday comparatively small. General Johnston had managed his command with great success and ability until he received his wound. What a pity that he should have exposed himself! but we are a blessed people to have such a man as General Lee to take his place. He (Gen. J.) is at the [...]
13th.—General Jackson is doing so gloriously in the Valley that we must not let the fate of the "Virginia" depress us too much. On the 9th of May he telegraphed to General Cooper: "God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday." Nothing more has been given us officially, but private information is received that [...]
12th.—Just returned from a visit to S. H. The family full of patriotism and very bright. While there, dear W's horse and servant came home. His family bore it well, considering imprisonment the least casualty that could have befallen him. If Richmond is invested, that beautiful country will be in the hands of the enemy; [...]
7th.—Our "peaceful" Sabbath here was one of fearful strife at Williamsburg. We met and whipped the enemy Oh, that we could drive them from our land forever! Much blood spilt on both sides; our dear W. B. N. is reported "missing"—oh, that heart-sinking word! How short a time since that blessed glimpse of his bright [...]
May 5th.—Yesterday we had a blessed Sabbath, undisturbed by rumours; it is generally a day of startling reports set afloat by idlers. The Bishop preached and administered confirmation at St. Paul's. The President was a candidate for confirmation, but was detained by business. It is such a blessing to have so many of our public [...]
3d.—It is distressing to see how many persons are leaving Richmond, apprehending that it is in danger; but it will not—I know it will not—fall. It is said that the President does not fear; he will send his family away, because he thinks it is better for men, on whom the country's weal is so [...]
May 2d.—The morning papers contain a most spirited letter by the Mayor of New Orleans, in reply to the Federal commander who demanded the surrender of the city, and that the Confederate flag should be taken down. He refuses to do either, telling him that the city is his by brute force, but he will [...]
27th.—The country is shrouded in gloom because of the fall of New Orleans! It was abandoned by General Lovell—necessarily, it is thought. Such an immense force was sent against the forts which protected it, that they could not be defended. The steamer Mississippi, which was nearly finished, had to be burnt. We hoped so much [...]
21st.—The ladies are now engaged making sand-bags for the fortifications at Yorktown; every lecture-room in town crowded with them, sewing busily, hopefully, prayerfully. Thousands are wanted. No battle, but heavy skirmishing at Yorktown. Our friend, Colonel McKinney, has fallen at the head of a North Carolina regiment. Fredericksburg has been abandoned to the enemy. Troops [...]
20th.—On Wednesday we saw eight thousand troops pass through town. We were anxious to see many who were among them. The sidewalks were thronged with ladies, many of them in tears. General C. passed with his brigade, containing the 17th, with its familiar faces. Colonel H. and himself rode to the sidewalk for a shake [...]
15th.—A panic prevails lest the enemy should get to Richmond. Many persons are leaving town. I can't believe that they will get here, though it seems to be their end and aim. My mind is much perturbed; we can only go on doing our duty, as quietly as we can.
11th.—The "Virginia" went out again to-day. The Federal Monitor would not meet her, but ran to Fortress Monroe, either for protection, or to tempt her under the heavy guns of the fortress; but she contented herself by taking three brigs and one schooner, and carrying them to Norfolk, with their cargoes. Soldiers are constantly passing [...]
10th.—Spent yesterday in the hospital by the bedside of Nathan Newton, our little Alabamian. I closed his eyes last night at ten o'clock, after an illness of six weeks. His body, by his own request, will be sent to his mother. Poor little boy! He was but fifteen, and should never have left his home. [...]
9th.—Our victory at Shiloh complete, but General Albert Sydney Johnston was killed. The nation mourns him as one of our most accomplished officers. He fell while commanding in the thickest of the fight. It is an overwhelming loss to the Western army, and to the whole country. Beauregard pursued the enemy, but their General (Grant) [...]
April 7.—Just returned from a little trip to the country in time to hear the morning news of a splendid victory yesterday, at Shiloh. No particulars received. Skirmishing near Yorktown reported; nothing definite.
29th.—After much anxiety, more authentic information from the "Valley" received this morning. We gave them a good fight, but the field was left in the enemy's hand. Poor, noble Winchester, to what degradation is she brought! Our dear W. B. C. was shot through the hip; the wound painful, but not mortal; he was carried [...]
March 27.—This has been a day of uneasiness to us all. General Jackson has had a fight at Kernstown, near Winchester. No particulars, except that the enemy were repulsed, and our loss heavy. Many that are so dear to us are in that "Stonewall Brigade;" and another day of suspense must pass before we can [...]
24th.—Our people continue to make every effort to repel the foe, who, like the locusts of Egypt, overrun our land, carrying the bitterest enmity and desolation wherever they go. Troops are passing through Richmond on their way to Goldsborough, N. C, where it is said that Burnside is expected to meet them. Everybody is busy [...]
Monday Night.—This morning I was at the funeral, at St. Paul's Church; the service was read by the Rev. J. P. McGuire and Rev. C. J. Gibson. Bishop Johns made a most solemn address. The procession, long and sad, then wended its way to Hollywood Cemetery.
15th.—Our army has fallen back to the Rappahannock, thus giving up the splendid Valley and Piedmont country to the enemy. This, I suppose, is right, but it almost breaks our hearts to think of it. Winchester was occupied last Wednesday! Lord, how long shall our enemies prosper? Give us grace to bear our trials.
Saturday Night.—Spent to-day at the hospital. Heard of the shelling of Newbern, N. C., and of its fall. My heart sickens at every acquisition of the Federals. No further news from Arkansas. Yesterday evening I went to see the body of our dear Bishop; cut a piece of his hair; kissed his forehead, and took [...]