Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

W., Hanover County, October 6th.—We left the University on the 4th, and finding J. B. N. on the cars, on ” sick-leave,” I determined to stop with him here to spend a few days with my sisters, while Mr. —— went on to Richmond and Ashland. I do nothing but listen—for my life during the last three months has been quiet, compared with that of others. J. gives most interesting accounts of all he has seen, from the time he came up the Peninsula with the army in May, until he was broken down, and had to leave it, in Maryland, after the battle of Sharpsburg. As a surgeon, his personal danger has not been so great as that of others, but he has passed through scenes the most trying and the most glorious. My sisters and M. give graphic descriptions of troubles while in the enemy’s lines, but, with the exception of loss of property, our whole family has passed through the summer unscathed. Many friends have fallen, and one noble young relative, E. B., of Richmond County; and I often ask myself, in deep humility of soul, why we have been thus blessed, for since our dear W. P. and General McIntosh fell, the one in December, the other in March, we have been singularly blessed. Can this last, when we have so many exposed to danger? O, God, spare our sons! Our friend, Dr. T., of this neighbourhood, lost two sons at Sharpsburg! Poor old gentleman! it is so sad to see his deeply-furrowed, resigned face.

McClellan’s troops were very well-behaved while in .this neighbourhood; they took nothing but what they considered contraband, such as grain, horses, cattle, sheep, etc., and induced the servants to go off. Many have gone—it is only wonderful that more did not go, considering the inducements that were offered. No houses were burned, and not much fencing. The ladies’ rooms were not entered except when a house was searched, which always occurred to unoccupied houses; but I do not think that much was stolen from them. Of course, silver, jewelry, watches, etc., were not put in their way. Our man Nat, and some others who went off, have returned—the reason they assign is, that the Yankees made them work too hard! It is so hard to find both families without carriage horses, and with only some mules which happened to be in Richmond when the place was surrounded. A wagon, drawn by mules, was sent to the depot for us. So many of us are now together that we feel more like quiet enjoyment than we have done for months.


Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

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