Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Journal of Major Wilder Dwight: Saturday Evening, May 31, 1862

The streets are quiet tonight. We await events.

The parole under which I have been quietly living at Mr. Barnhardt's since Monday involved only this restraint: confinement to the corporate limits of Winchester, and the duty of reporting every morning at ten o'clock at the office of the Provost Marshal. We have fed on rumors, speculations, fears, hopes, falsehoods, and sensations, but have felt none of the constraints of captivity. The parole which I have given to-day is, not to serve till exchanged, and I may “go at large.”

Mr. Barnhardt, a big Dutchman, who has lived over seventy years, as he says, “just for good eating,” returned from market Wednesday morning. “No market,” says he. “Butter forty cents, eggs twenty-five, lamb twenty; and all because the Confederates is here. I could ha' sot down on the market-steps and ha' cried, as sure as you sit there in that there cheer. To-night his nervousness has reached that point that he has gone to bed “a'most sick and downhearted.” He is a Union man. “I was born a Union man, I have always been a Union man, and a Union man I 'll die, and the Devil can't make nothing else of me.”

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 264

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