Showing posts with label Plantations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plantations. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 9, 1862

A TRIP INTO THE COUNTRY. 

After nearly two months of scrubbing and cleaning, with new caps and pants, the 25th regiment stands in column of platoons on Pollock street, as tony a looking regiment as there is in the service. The colonel and staff with the band take the head of the column, and amid the cheers of hundreds of darkies, the march commences. Leaving the city we soon enter the woods, and after marching about three miles, come out to a cotton plantation. Here we make a short halt and look over the place. It looks rather run down, the house is old and out of repair, the negro quarters are built of logs, and look as though they were hardly habitable. But I presume everything on a plantation has to correspond. The gentlemanly proprietor, whoever he was, has left, taking with him the best of his servants, leaving here a few old ones to shift for themselves. 

A few miles further on, we came to another cotton plantation. This presented a better appearance, a neat cottage house, painted white with green blinds, good barns and surroundings. The negro quarters were comfortable looking houses, built of boards, with glass windows, and whitewashed. This gentleman with his servants had also gone up the country. About two miles further on, at a fork of the road, we found the 17th Massachusetts, Col. Amory, doing picket duty. Here a road branched to the right leading into the woods, which we took, following it about four miles, coming out at a small clearing, where was a little red house and log barn, with a few negro cabins. This is known as the Red house, and we relieve the 23d Massachusetts, which is doing picket duty. And this then is to be our home for a while. It certainly is retired and rural, not another house within four miles of us. The clearing is not over twelve or fifteen acres in extent, with a small creek running through it. Woods to the right of us, wools to the left of us, woods to the front of us, woods all around us. This surely must be the place for which Cowper sighed, when he wrote, 

“O! for a lodge in some vast wilderness.” 

After getting a little rested from the long march, we pitched our tents in a field a short distance from the house. The colonel and his family, with the band, pitched their camp in the large shady yard next to the house. The tents up, the picket guard is detailed an posted ; a part of them along the road we came up, and connecting with the 17th Massachusetts, a part along the road to the right, and connecting with the 27th Massachusetts stationed at Bachellor's creek, and the balance along the roads and horse paths leading into Dixie. The tents up, the pickets out, dress parade and supper over, I reckon the country must be safe for one night at least, and I will improve it by trying to get some sleep and rest, for it will be just my luck to be on the detail tomorrow. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55-6

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 11, 1862

MR. BOGEY. 

This place is what is called a turpentine plantation, where they get the pitch from which turpentine is distilled. The owner, Mr. Bogey, a harmless, inoffensive old gentleman, claims to be a Union man, and I reckon he is, because he does not run away or seem to be afraid of us. He tells me he owns 2000 acres of land, nearly all turpentine forest, and has 10,000 trees running pitch. He said the war had ruined him and thinks it has the whole south. He said the rebels had taken all but one of his horses and about everything else he had that they wanted. His niggers had all left him and gone down town. He expected that when we came, but cared very little about it, as he had only a few and they were about as much trouble and expense to him as they were worth. He said he was getting old, his business was all broke up and by the time the war was over and things settled he would be too old for anything. I asked him if all those pigs running about in the woods were his. He reckoned they were. I inquired if he knew how many he had. He couldn’t tell exactly, but reckoned there was right smart. The thought occurred to me that if that was as near as he could tell, if a few of them were gobbled they would never be missed, provided the squeal could be shut off quick enough. I learn that Gen. Burnside has given Mr. Bogey a protection, whatever that is. That perhaps may do well enough for him, but I should not want to warrant it a sure thing for all these pigs and sheep running about here. 

CAMP BULLOCK. 

Our camp is named Camp Bullock, in honor of Alex. H. Bullock of Worcester, Mass. Today the boys are busy writing letters home, and it troubles them to tell where to date their letters from. They invent all sorts of names; some of them with a romantic turn of mind, date from Camp Rural, Woodlawn, Forestdale, Riverdale, etc., but Mason, with a more practical turn of mind, dates his from Hell Centre. The boys who were out in the woods last night say it is great fun, although they were not disturbed; there is just enough excitement and mosquitoes to keep them from getting drowsy. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 56-7

Friday, April 3, 2020

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General William T. Sherman, December 30, 1864

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.]
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,                     
Washington, D.C., December 30, 1864.*
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Savannah:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I take the liberty of calling your attention, in this private and friendly way, to a matter which may possibly hereafter be of more importance to you than either of us may now anticipate. While almost every one is praising your great march through Georgia and the capture of Savannah, there is a certain class, having now great influence with the President, and very probably anticipating still more on a change of Cabinet, who are decidedly disposed to make a point against you—I mean in regard to “Inevitable Sambo.” They say that you have manifested an almost criminal dislike to the negro, and that you are not willing to carry out the wishes of the Government in regard to him, but repulse him with contempt. They say you might have brought with you to Savannah more than 50,000, thus stripping Georgia of that number of laborers and opening a road by which as many more could have escaped from their masters; but that instead of this you drove them from your ranks, prevented then, from following you by cutting the bridges in your rear, and thus caused the massacre of large numbers by Wheeler's cavalry.

To those who know you as I do such accusations will pass as the idle winds, for we presume that you discouraged the negroes from following you simply because you had not the means of supporting them and feared they might seriously embarrass your march. But there are others, and among them some in high authority, who think, or pretend to think, otherwise, and they are decidedly disposed to make a point against you.

I do not write this to induce you to conciliate this class of men by doing anything which you do not think right and proper and for the interest of the Government and the country, but simply to call your attention to certain things which are viewed here somewhat differently than from your standpoint. I will explain as briefly as possible: Some here think that, in view of the scarcity of labor in the South, and the probability that a part, at least, of the able-bodied slaves will be called into the military service of the rebels, it is of the greatest importance to open outlets by which the slaves can escape into our lines, and, they say, that the route you have passed over should be made the route of escape and Savannah the great place of refuge. These I know are the views of some of the lending men in the administration, and they now express dissatisfaction that you did not carry them out in your great raid.

Now that you are in possession of Savannah, and there can be no further fears about supplies, would it not be possible for you to reopen these avenues of escape for the negroes without interfering with your military operations? Could not such escaped slaves find, at least, a partial supply of food in the rice fields about Savannah, and occupation in the rice and cotton plantations on the coast?

I merely throw out these suggestions; I know that such a course would be approved by the Government, and I believe that a manifestation on your part of a desire to bring the slaves within our lines will do much to silence your opponents.

You will appreciate my motives in writing this private letter.

Yours, truly,
H. W. HALLECK.
_______________

* General Sherman’s reply of January 12, 1865, refers to this letter as dated January 1st, but General Halleck’s copy is dated as here given.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 44 (Serial No. 92), p. 836-7

Monday, February 10, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: September 1, 1864

September 1st, '64.

A real autumn morning. We were aroused at 3 a. m. and the air was then almost crisp. A breath of cold air is a luxury we can appreciate. A fresh, cool breeze is now stirring and I can almost hear the leaves falling. It is a real yellow fall and does me more good than aught else could, except a letter from home. Haven't had one from you for ten days. A prisoner says that yesterday's fight was rougher on them than the 28th of July fight. He said their brigade came up in front of our men, and though they did not stay more than long enough to take one look, when they got back under cover they were 500 men short. They afterwards charged again, and he said he doubted whether any of them got off alive and sound.

This is the 124th day of the campaign, exactly 90 of which we have been under fire. Have also moved 340 miles, though the direct road would be much less. The boys say we just finished the summer campaign in time to commence the fall ditto. I guess the movement surprised Hood. Prisoners all say they understood it to be a raiding party. ’Tis a rather mighty one. The country between these two railroads is rather better than any we have seen before in Georgia, but I never saw any in Illinois half as poor. Hardly any of the land has been under cultivation since the war commenced. A little sickly corn and a few patches of sorghum and millet are about all the farming evidence I have seen. Northern Alabama and a few counties in Mississippi are the only passable parts of the Confederacy that I have seen. Mrs. Lee Henty’s grand plantations, with their “hospitable mansions, whose broad verandas, supported by graceful pillars,” etc., are principally “bosh,” at least as far as northern Georgia is concerned. The health of the regiment is excellent, the men being, if anything, healthier than the officers. The lieutenant colonel and major, though both with us, are not yet reported for duty. Captain Boyd, Lieutenants Fox, A. & J. Smith are quite unwell. Captains Post, Vorhees, Smith and myself have at different times been all the officers fit for duty. I believe I am the only one who has never been off duty during the campaign, though Post, Smith, Vorhees and Dorrance have lost but a few days each, Smith, I believe only one. I don't believe these Rebels can be in very good spirits. I am afraid I'd be a little blue if we'd been whipped as often as they have this campaign. Most of the prisoners are great “peace” men, but they all say that their leaders will never give up as long as they can raise a brigade to fight. Every pup of them has hopes that the Chicago Convention will do something for them, they hardly know what. I heard one of the boys say he wished that the Convention could be induced to charge us in these works. There's talk of our going home to vote.

About 2 p. m. a signal officer in a tree reported that he could see our troops moving in line down the railroad toward us. It was the 23d and 4th Corps. The 14th which held the left of our line, about the same time commenced to swing its left around, and by 4 p. m. a battle opened. The 14th broke the enemy's line before the 23d got up, and alone rolled the Rebels up in fine style. By dark the 14th had captured from 12 to 20 pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. Three hours more of daylight and Hardee would have had no corps left, for the 4th and 23d were swinging further to the left, and would have been in his rear in less than two hours, when our whole line would have closed in on them.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 295-7

Saturday, February 1, 2020

George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase, February 12, 1863

(Private and Confidential)
New Orleans, February 12th, 1863.

Dear Sir: Enclosed is General Orders No. 14—in part concerning Plantation supplies, etc.

Also, copy of contract between T. P. May, an intelligent and progressive planter, and white laborers to be employed by him in raising cotton and sugar. It is a great experiment and Mr. May is the man to succeed in it. He is a young man—at heart an Abolitionist, and his plantation is one of the finest in Louisiana.

My late announcement of the commencement of military movements was premature. Everything moves very slowly here. The movement has not actually commenced however.

A force under Weitzel will advance up the Teche. Another force will advance westwardly from Plaquemine on the River. The two forces will meet at New Iberia or St. Martinsville.

Bute la Rose is a lake or wide bayou between Plaquemine and St. Martinsville, and at this point is a rebel battery and fortifications. This will be reduced by the Plaquemine force aided by gunboats.

After the junction of the two forces at or near St. Martinsville a force of 3,000 or 4,000 will be detached and accompany the gunboats up the Atchafalaya bayou to Red River near its mouth.

The Gunboats to be used are those built by Gen. Butler— of very light draft and iron-clad.

You will understand the above statement by reference to the Rebel map I sent you.

Affairs here are not in a prosperous condition. Great dissatisfaction exists in at least some portions of the army. Even Gen. Banks new troops to some extent—and Butler's old troops to a man, would hail Butler's return with enthusiasm. Banks' policy seems to be conciliatory and hesitating. He seems afraid of responsibilities. General Butler is utterly fearless. Several desertions have occurred, by soldiers who wish to be taken and paroled, but this is kept secret here.

It is my opinion that Government has made exchanges too easy. It would be better to allow no exchange of prisoners. Then we should not hear of disgraceful surrenders—or of desertions by men sick of the service. In this and other respects the war should be made sharper and more earnest. The greater advantage of exchanges as now permitted, is in favor of the Rebels, and the disadvantage is our own. Our men will not so easily surrender and rarely desert, if they know they must endure, for the rest of the war, the privations and discomforts of the Confederacy. Now they have every inducement to do both.

Gen. Banks seems to me to be no judge of men. He selects honest subordinates for the most part—but his staff are, generally, green, inexperienced—of little ability—and one or two of them are fit objects of ridicule. Conciliation, inefficiency, inexperience and hesitation characterize all proceedings. There is no use in such criticism, however, when the President himself sends here as his private correspondent a vulgar little scoundrel like Dr. Zachary—who takes bribes and whose only object is to make money.

Personally I like Gen. Banks exceedingly, but a Northern man needs six months experience here in order to be efficient in this peculiar country and .among its peculiar people. Gen. Butler has that experience, and his return would at once change everything for the better.

The nine months men are dissatisfied and demoralized. I think Butler could not only remove such feeling, but make most of them re-enlist. Whatever Butler did, pleased and satisfied the Army, because they had confidence in, and admired him. This is not at all true of Gen. Banks.

The sooner Gen. Butler comes back the better it will be.

In one respect there is a very disagreeable condition of things here. A host of speculators, Jews and camp-followers, came hither in the track of Banks' expedition. They have continued to arrive and every steamer brings an addition to the number. Each expects to be a millionaire in six months. They have few scruples about the means of satisfying their cupidity.

I regard them as natural enemies, and in our constant war, they are generally worsted. The whole crowd, and Dr. Zachary among them, with eager expectancy like wolves about to seize their prey, await the advent of the new collector, who is a good natured man, and supposed to be easily imposed upon.

I think that spies, intriguers, dishonest speculators, and liars are more abundant here now than any where else in America. It seems as if everything must be accomplished by intrigue and management. It was not so three months ago.

In troublous times like these each man of merit has opinions—proclaims them—defends and sustains them, else he is, politically speaking, a "trimmer."

I told Gen. Banks so the other day.

I am not familiar with Banks' political history. Was he ever a Trimmer?

Perhaps he is a conservative! To a friend of mine Gen. Banks the other day declared himself to be neither a proslavery nor anti-slavery man.

What is he then?

I do not know, Mr. Chase, anything about your feelings toward Gen. Banks or any one else, but write always my own opinions without reference to those of others.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 358-60

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Robert Toombs to John J. Crittenden, November 9, 1848

Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 9th, 1848.
Dear Crittenden,

The telegraff being out of order, you may get our glorious news by this before you receive it otherwise.

I am on my way to my plantation, having passed thro' the lower portion of the State last night.

The thing is settled, Io triumphe, Georgia will give Old Zach 2,000 majority. I have worked hard and feel amply rewarded—now “whatever sky is above me, I have a heart for every fate.”

I leave in five minutes for the West.

SOURCE: Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Editor, The Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1911, Volume 2: The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb, p. 135-6

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Diary of Colonel Jacob Ammen, March 30, 1862

March about 4 miles; pass General Pillow's plantation and encamp on Captain Polk's plantation. The Tenth [Brigade] moves forward to give room to the troops crossing river.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 10, Part 1 (Serial No. 10), p. 330

Diary of Laura M. Towne: Monday, June 23, 1862

General Hunter drove us out to the camp of the black regiment, which he reviewed. After our return I saw Mr. McKim and Lucy off, the steamer being crowded with the wounded and sick from the battle of Edisto. Then Mr. French advised my returning to General Hunter's. Mrs. H. had asked me to stay all night, but I had declined. Now, however, it was too late to go back to Beaufort in the little steamer and there was no other chance but a sail-boat, so after waiting and hesitating a long time, I consented to the intrusion, and Mr. French escorted me back again, explaining to General and Mrs. Hunter my predicament. They were cordial in their invitation, and I had a long talk with them about plantation matters, sitting on their piazza, the sentry marching to and fro and members of the staff occasionally favoring us with their company.

The regiment is General Hunter's great pride. They looked splendidly, and the great mass of blackness, animated with a soul and armed so keenly, was very impressive. They did credit to their commander.

As we drove into the camp I pointed out a heap of rotting cotton-seed. “That will cause sickness,” I said. “I ordered it removed,” he said, very quickly, “and why hasn't it been done?” He spoke to the surgeon about it as soon as we reached Drayton's house, which is just beside the camp. The men seemed to welcome General Hunter and to be fond of him. The camp was in beautiful order.

SOURCE: Rupert Sargent Holland, Editor, Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina 1862-1864, p. 70-1

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Diary of Laura M. Towne: Sunday, June 11, 1862

We four girls rode to “Mary Jenkins[’ plantation],”  where the children screamed and ran to hide at the sight of white faces. Dr. Hering sent a consignment of looking-glasses for distribution, and Mr. Hastings a number of bags of salt, etc., etc.

SOURCE: Rupert Sargent Holland, Editor, Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina 1862-1864, p. 67

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Edward S. Philbrick to Alpheus Hardy, December 28, 1863

Beaufort, S. C, Dec. 28, 1863.
Alpheus Hardy, Treasurer:

Dear Sir,—Enclosed please find my draft for one hundred dollars, for the relief of the families of Freedmen, in response to your circular. Please state to your committee and to any other gentlemen interested in the question of free labor, that I have disbursed the sum of $20,000 during the past nine months among the Freedmen here, in the shape of wages, well earned, besides which they have now on hand ample provision to feed their families for twelve months to come, the fruit of their own toil.

I employ about 500 laborers — women and children, mostly, having a population of 920 on my lands. They have raised for me 73,000 pounds of clean Sea Island cotton this year, worth 50d. sterling in Liverpool, besides their own provision crops, above referred to. This has been done in hearing of Gen. Gilmore's big guns on Morris Island, surrounded by camps, with no civil law, and without the help of the able-bodied men, who were all pressed into the military service, leaving the plantations with none but old men, women and children. I have no paupers, all the old and infirm being fed and clothed by their friends and children.

I mention these things to show how easy it is to render the negroes a self-supporting and wealth-producing class with proper management; and I, at the same time, fully appreciate the duty imposed upon us as a nation, to extend the area of charity where the unsettled state of the country renders industry impossible until time is given to re-organize and force to protect it. We are more fortunately situated than the people of the Mississippi Valley, and have got the start of them.

Respectfully yours,
E. S. Philbrick.

SOURCE: New-England Educational Commission for Freedmen, Extracts from Letters of Teachers and Superintendents of the New-England Educational Commission for Freedmen, Fourth Series, January 1, 1864, p. 14

Diary of Laura M. Towne: Monday, May 23, 1862

Ellen is coming at last. I felt sure no one could stop her. Mr. McKim is also to come as Philadelphia agent, and I am free.

We have been for three days going to various plantations, once to Mr. Zacha's at Paris Island, once to Mrs. Mary Jenkins', Mr. Wells' and to Edgar Fripp's, or to Frogmore, Mr. Saulis'; also to Edding's Point and one other place. At the three places of Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Fripp, and Edding, the wretched hovels with their wooden chimneys and the general squalor showed the former misery. One woman said the differences in the times were as great as if God had sent another Moses and a great deliverance — that it was heaven upon earth and earth in heaven now. They all seemed to love Mr. Wells. We saw there one woman whose two children had been whipped to death, and Mr. Wells said there was not one who was not marked up with welts. He had the old whip which had a ball at the end, and he had seen the healed marks of this ball on their flesh — the square welts showed where it had taken the flesh clean out. Loretta of this place showed me her back and arms to-day. In many places there were ridges as high and long as my little finger, and she said she had had four babies killed within her by whipping, one of which had its eye cut out, another its arm broken, and the others with marks of the lash. She says it was because even while "heaviest" she was required to do as much as usual for a field hand, and not being able, and being also rather apt to resist, and rather smart in speaking her mind, poor thing, she has suffered; and no wonder Grace, her child, is of the lowest type; no wonder she is more indifferent about her clothes and house than any one here. She says this was the cruelest place she was ever in.

The happiest family I know here is old Aunt Bess's Minda and Jerry and herself. They are always joking and jolly but very gentle. When I go there at night to dress Bess's foot I find her lying upon her heap of rags with the roaches running all over her and little Leah or some small child asleep beside her.' Jerry got me some of the pine sticks they use for candles. They hold one for me while I dress the foot.

It is- very interesting to observe how the negroes watch us for fear we shall go away. They are in constant dread of it and we cannot be absent a single day without anxiety on their part. It is very touching to hear their entreaties to us to stay, and their anxious questions. They have a horrible dread of their masters' return, especially here where Massa Dan'l's name is a terror.

They appreciate the cheapness of our goods and especially of the sugar at the Overseer house, and are beginning to distrust the cotton agents who have charged them so wickedly.

The scenes in the cotton-house used to be very funny. Miss W. would say to some discontented purchaser who was demurring at the price of some article, “Well, now, I don't want to sell this. I believe I won't sell it to-day. But if you want to take it very much at a dollar and a half, you may have it. Oh, you don't? Well, then, I can't sell you anything. No, you can't have anything. We are doing the best we can for you and you are not satisfied; you won't be contented. Just go — go now, please. We want all the room and air we can get. You don't want to buy and why do you stay? No, I shall not let you have anything but that. I don't want to sell it, but you may have it for a dollar and a half,” etc., etc. This is one of many real scenes. The people are eager, crazy to buy, for they are afraid of their money, it being paper, and besides, they need clothes and see finer things than ever in their lives before. Except when they are excited they are very polite, always saying "Missus" to us, and "Sir" to one another. The children say, "Good-mornin', ma'am," whenever they see us first in the day, and once I overheard two girls talking just after they had greeted me. One said, "I say good-mornin' to my young missus [Miss Pope] and she say, ‘I slap your mouth for your impudence, you nigger.’” I have heard other stories that tell tales.

The white folks used to have no cooking-utensils of their own here. They came and required certain things. The cooks hunted among the huts and borrowed what they needed till the family went away, of course straining every nerve to get such cooking as should please. "I would do anything for my massa," Susannah says, "if he wouldn't whip me."

On May 7, as Mr. Pierce stepped off the boat at Hilton Head and walked up the pier, a Mr. Nobles, chief of the cotton agents here, came forward saying that he had a letter for him. Then he struck him upon the head, felled him, and beat him, saying that Mr. P. had reported him to the Secretary of the Treasury and had got a saddle and bridle of his. Mr. Pierce got up with difficulty and took only a defensive part. Some soldiers took Mr. Nobles off. Mr. Pierce had really mentioned this man and his agents, which was his duty as guardian of these people, for they were imposing upon the negroes shamefully. They, of course, hate this whole Society of Superintendents, etc., who will not see the negroes wronged. So Mr. P. has had his touch of martyrdom.

The Philadelphia consignment of goods — in all $2000 worth — would have done immense good if it had come in season. The people of these islands, whom Government does not ration (because there is corn here) had nothing but hominy to eat, were naked, were put to work at cotton, which they hated, as being nothing in their own pockets and all profit to the superintendent, who they could not be sure were not only another set of cotton agents or cotton planters; and so discontent and trouble arose. Mr. Pierce said to them that they should be fed, clothed, and paid, but they waited and waited in vain, trusting at first to promises and then beginning to distrust such men as were least friendly to them.

The first rations of pork — "splendid bacon," everybody says — was dealt out the other day and there has been great joy ever since, or great content. If this had only come when first ordered there would have been this goodwill and trust from the first. They even allow the removal of the corn from one plantation to another now without murmuring, and that they were very much opposed to before.

SOURCE: Rupert Sargent Holland, Editor, Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina 1862-1864, p. 57-61

Monday, February 4, 2019

Diary of Laura M. Towne: Sunday, May 4, 1862


My thirty-seventh birthday yesterday. Never thought I would spend it in South Carolina, on a plantation too, and there by right as occupant.

It was beautiful this morning at church. The live-oaks were more mossy and gray than ever and the spot more lovely. The crowd was greater, and the dresses cleaner and more picturesque too. The man with the carpet poncho did not have it on to-day, probably as it was so warm. But the turbans were grand. Mr. Horton conducted the services finely, with plenty of old-fashioned doctrine, to be sure, but with good sense, especially when he told them how much greater men are than the beasts of the field. One old negro made a fine prayer after the service, just what it should be, in which he prayed that God would guide and bless the good folks who had come down to help them. He did not dare to mention General Hunter's call for black soldiers, and all the superintendents fear it will not be responded to. Will Capers has enlisted, however, and others talk of it. Will is a fine fellow in every respect.

After church, groups formed outside. It was a beautiful scene. The church overflowed; there were over three hundred inside and many out — seven hundred and thirty-eight in all, Mr. Horton says. The children behaved well and I think the Sunday School was a success. I talked of Christ's love for children and how He would take them to Heaven if they were kind to each other. I had between twenty and thirty in my class. I also taught them their letters and a card of words. There were several black teachers. After church the superintendents gathered around and had a little talk. Their ration bread was taken in the carriage with us and distributed after church. That is the time for getting letters, too, for those poor, out-of-the-way fellows on some plantations.

It was amusing to see the vehicles by which some of the gentlemen came. Mr. Philbrick rode on a skin-and-bone horse with rope for bridle, and a side saddle. Mrs. Philbrick accompanied him in a sulky, holding the ropes and an umbrella, while the little negro clung on the “tree” between the wheels with the whip and used it when directed by Mrs. P. Behind was tied a square box for bread. As we left the church, the long line of negroes going slowly home was very pretty. Some of them carried shoes to church in their hands and kept them so, to show they owned a pair, I suppose. Decidedly they were more cleanly and better clothed to-day than before, and happier too. Paying them even a little has reassured them. They are very eager to believe we are their friends, but have had some things to make them doubt. At the paying-off on this plantation the other night they seemed all thankful, though some objected to the bank bills. Mr. Pierce was very sorry they had not specie to give them. It was a strange looking spectacle, all those black faces peering in at door and window, for they assembled on the front porch and answered when Mr. Pierce called their names. Mr. Hooper had the money and handed it over to Mr. Pierce, who gave it to each. The earnings were from seventy-five cents to three dollars each. Cotton only is paid for, not corn. Each man took his money with a scrape backwards of his foot, each woman with a curtsey. Rina says that they never had anything but ground for floors to their cabins, and they had no lofts. But after massa left, they took his boards, floored their own cabins and put in lofts. This does not seem as if they preferred to live in their present style.

Mr. Boutwell, of the Coast Survey, was here to-day. He says the St. Helena people were hard, and not considered well educated or good specimens of planters. Certainly they were hard to their negroes, especially on this place. It was being prepared for Mr. Fuller's residence when the flight occurred.

Yesterday Mrs. French, Mrs. Nicholson, and Miss Curtis were here with Lieutenant Gregory and Lieutenant Belcher, of the Michigan regiment. They have some special care of the ladies at Mr. French's. Lieutenant Gregory said we have but 4000 soldiers here; 15,000 in all Port Royal; and the enemy are concentrating around us. They have already 20,000 surrounding us and may take it into their heads to rout us. Their approach would be in three directions, one through this island.
We have heard to-day that there is a mail to Beaufort, a late one, the earlier having been detained at Hampton Roads — why, we know not. It is over three weeks since a mail came in. I expect Ellen to-night. I have often expected her before; but to-night she must come, and Mr. Hooper has gone for her and the letters.

I heard a story of a negro the other day who was saying all manner of hard things of the old masters and his own in particular. “Well,” said an officer, standing by, “we have caught him and now what shall we do with him?” “Hang him, hang him — hanging is too good for him,” cried the negro, in great excitement. “Well,” said the officer, “he shall be hung, boy, and since he injured you so much, you shall have a chance now to pay him back. You shall hang him yourself, and we'll protect you and see it done.” “Oh, no, can't do it — can't do it — can't see massa suffer. Don't want to see him suffer.” . . .

One of the most touching of all songs I have heard is that “croon” in a minor key —

“Poor Rome — poor gal —
(is to)
Heaven (will) be my home."

I never heard anything so sad. I will get the words and tune some day.

My housekeeping experiences are very funny. No milk — and breakfast. I send Lucy to send Aleck to find Robert and bring the milk. Aleck comes back, saying, “Can't get no milk, ma’am. Calf run away. Cow won't give milk if the calf don’t suck, ma’am.” Two hours or so after, milk comes. The cow will give no milk except while the calf is having its supper, and so it is a race between old Robert and the calf to see which will get the most or enough.

There are sometimes six negroes in the dining-room at once during meal-times — the other day Aleck making his appearance with two huge fish, which he held up triumphantly, raw and fresh from the water. On the other hand, often at meal-times not a negro can be found; the table is not set, for Lucy has gone; the fire cannot be kindled, for there is no wood and Aleck has gone; the milk has not come, etc., etc.

A sad thing here is the treatment of animals. The other day one of the oxen came home almost flayed, with great skinless welts, and a piece of skin (and flesh, too, I think), taken out over the tail. This afternoon Miss Winsor and I stopped Joe, who had taken Mr. Whiting's little colt and harnessed him without any permission. Then he drove him at a gallop, with negroes hanging on, through the deep sand, so that he came home all of a tremble. All the gentlemen being gone, and nearly all the ladies, they thought they could do as they pleased; but Miss Winsor, with admirable tact and authority, made Joe dismount, unharness, and care for the horse after his return from a first trip. The dogs are all starved, and the horses are too wretched.

Last night we heard the negroes singing till daylight. Rina said they thought as they had Sunday to rest they would keep up their meeting all night. It was a religious meeting.

Mr. Hooper has returned with letters — none from home for me; one from Sophie, fortunately. The other two were with supplies from Philadelphia — $2000 worth to be distributed by me. They speak of having read my letters to committees, etc., and that frightens me.

New Orleans is ours — has capitulated. Mr. Hooper, Mr. Ruggles, and Mr. Horton, the Baptist minister, were sitting in the parlor this Sunday afternoon. Suddenly we heard three lusty cheers. I ran in, little bird in hand, and heard the joyful announcement of this news.

Miss W. has been sick and I have taught her school. Did very well, but once heard a slash and found Betty with a long switch whipping two of the girls. I soon stopped that and told them I had come here to stop whipping, not to inflict it. Aleck, that “limb,” stopped in front of the desk and harangued me in orator style to prove that Betty was authorized by Miss Nelly. Mr. Severance drove me there and back, with a rabble of negroes hanging on behind. We rode to church to-day with nearly half a dozen somewhere about the carriage.

Lieutenant Belcher, who was Provost Marshal of Port Royal, is a stanch homoeopathist, and we have promised to doctor each other should occasion require. I have a great many patients on hand — “Too many,” as the negroes say.

SOURCE: Rupert Sargent Holland, Editor, Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina 1862-1864, p. 32-7

Friday, January 25, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 10, 1865

Moved on to Columbia at the junction of the Rivanna and James. Pleasant day — bad roads. Went into camp and sent out forage detail. Got plenty of forage and subsistence. Very wealthy plantation. Large number of negroes. Canal thoroughly destroyed.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 147

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase, December 4, 1862

New Orleans, December 4th, 1862.

Dear Sir: The mail is about to close and I write in haste, to inform you of the result of the election.

In the 1st. Con. District, Mr. Flanders is elected by an overwhelming majority. His only competitor was Mr. Bouligny. So far as returns are known Mr. Flanders received more than ten times as many votes as Mr. Bouligny. You already know as much of Mr. Flanders as I can tell you. He expects to start for Washington by the next steamer.

In the other (2nd.) Congressional District, the candidates were Durell, Hahn, Barker, and Greathouse, Dr. Cottman having withdrawn his name by request (order?) of Gen. Butler, and Mr. Hahn took his place.1

Mr. Hahn is elected by a good majority. He was an original and continuous Union man, and is understood to be unconditional in his loyalty. Durell was unfortunately the candidate of the Union Association — unfortunately, for he is not popular and many members voted for Hahn, against whom I know of no objections.

Enclosed is an account of Mr. Hahn, published this morning which is correct so far as it goes.

I do not understand why Dr. Cottmann was prevented from continuing to be a candidate — by Gen. Butler. He would certainly have been elected and is a good and very popular man, who has suffered much, for the ''Confederates" have destroyed his plantations. I understand he intends visiting Washington soon, when he will probably explain the matter.

The result of the election seems to me to be very satisfactory. A good vote was cast, considering the number of men Gen. Butler has enlisted, & the number who are absent with the rebel army.
_______________

1 The vote was:

First district:

B. F. Flanders
2,370
All others
273

2,643
Second district:

M. F. Hahn
2,799
Judge Durell
1,458
Barker
453
Greathouse
357
Scattering
50

5,117

(House Reports, Thirty-seventh Congress, Third session, No. 22.)

On the floor of the House, Representative Dawes, of Massachusetts, chairman of the Committee on Elections, represented that one candidate withdrew because he was suspected of disloyalty. (Congressional Globe, February 9, 1863.)

On Dr. Cottman cf. April 30,1863, also letters following; also November 5, 1863.

Messrs. Hahn and Flanders were admitted and took the oath of office, the former on February 17, and the latter on February 23, 1863. The Thirty-seventh Congress expired on March 3, 1863.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 336-7

Friday, December 21, 2018

George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase, November 14, 1862

(Private)
New Orleans, Nov. 14th, 1862.

Dear Sir: Four days ago, General Butler showed me the letter he had just received from you, concerning the speculations of Col. Butler, and trade with the enemy. In my opinion, it was the right method of effecting a desirable object. The General [sic] pleased to talk to me confidentially. He says that his brother's gains have been less than Two Hundred Thousand — that he has done only a legitimate business — that without being interested he assisted his brother at first with his (the Gen'l's) credit—and that Col. Butler will close his business as quickly as possible and go home. He also said that some of his officers had engaged in speculations, but only in a proper manner.

For one thing Col. Butler deserves credit. Many sugar plantations were abandoned. Col. B. bought the standing crop of a large plantation for $25,000, hired negroes at a fair rate per day — and will make a thousand hogsheads of sugar this year, from this one plantation. I say he deserves credit, as being the first man bold and enterprising enough to undertake the raising of a large crop of sugar by Free labor — which, a little while ago, was slave labor — in opposition to the Southern idea, long established, that Sugar and Cotton can be successfully raised only by compulsory labor. I lately visited this plantation, which is a few miles below the City, and never saw negroes work with more energy and industry. This single experiment refutes theories which Southern leaders have labored, for years, to establish. The crops of four or five other plantations down the river, and some above the City, were subsequently purchased by other persons and are conducted with the same success. The abolition of Slavery by whatever means accomplished, instead of destroying, will increase and invigorate labor.

I think there will not again, be any ground of complaint against Gen. Butler, for his toleration of speculators. Nothing objectionable has been permitted since the receipt of your regulations of August 28th. He is a man not to be spared from the country's service. I suppose he was a Proslavery man before the war, but he has since become the opposite. And nearly all real Union men from the South are Anti-Slavery, of whom Hon. A. J. Hamilton is a good representative.

The expedition to The Lafourche has been entirely successful. The whole country from here to Berwick's Bay and up as far as Donaldsonville, is in our possession. There was a short, sharp fight, and the undertaking was accomplished. Gen. Butler's Gun-boats did not reach Berwick in time to cut off the retreat — having got aground on the bar—and so the greater part of the enemy escaped.

These gunboats are four. Gen. Butler made three of them out of old River boats — iron plated them with plating designed for rebel gunboats, and, drawing but little water, they are of great service.

The inhabitants of LaFourche are thoroughly subjugated, and express a desire for peace on any terms. They take the oath of allegiance voluntarily. The negroes everywhere flocked to the army, as to their deliverers, and many of the plantations were entirely deserted. Gen. Butler says they are free forever, but he has ordered them (I understand) back to their plantations to work there for proper compensation. This is the only method of providing for them at present. The situation of this country (Lafourche) is such that it is not probable the rebels will ever regain it. It is much to be regretted that Gen. B. has not more troops here. With 25,000 more, he could accomplish great things. If the enemy is attacked from the South, he will no longer think of invading Kentucky and Missouri, but turn Southward to protect the Gulf states.

The two colored regiments guard the railroad from here to Berwick. They have done well, and accomplished all that has been given them to do. About one year ago, the colored Reg't. was ordered out to escort the Yankee prisoners through the City, though the order was subsequently countermanded. A few days ago, a company of the same Reg't. marched into the City having under guard about twenty guerillas, whom they had captured. It seemed a just retribution.

The company officers of this first Reg't. are educated men, and each speaks at least two languages. Gen. B. will soon give his colored troops a chance to show themselves. He designs attacking Port Hudson, a strong position on the River.

The third colored Reg't. is full and will soon be in the field. I urged upon General B. the propriety of arming all the able bodied negroes in LaFourche, for they would willingly consent to it. He is undoubtedly in favor of it, but has not arms. He has collected in the City, smooth bore muskets enough for three more Reg'ts., but his supply will then be exhausted. This will be six colored Regiments. I fear the Government will not act decidedly, as to the army of negroes, until the rebels take the wind out of our sails, by arming them for the Rebel side.

The Rebels have found a new supply of salt. It is on an Island formed by a bayou, half way between Vermilion Bay and New Iberia, which island is called Petit Anse on the map I sent you. It is forty or fifty miles west of Berwick, and about ten miles inland, but the Bayou is navigable for Gunboats. The supply of salt is large, and wagons are hauling it to Mississippi and Alabama. Gen. Butler will take measures to destroy the works at once — or as soon as possible.

Texas Refugees have, at different times, reached this City. I proposed to Gen. Butler, that a Texas Reg't. of mounted Rifles be organized, at the same time suggesting the method of doing it. He adopted the plan. Judge Davis, of Corpus Christi, is selected as Colonel, and Mr. Stancel (Inspector in this Custom House) as Lieut. Col. The first company is mustered in — composed entirely of refugees — and two more are started. They will go to Galveston, where many persons will join — and a steamship will be sent to the Rio Grande, to bring off the Refugees who are at, or near, Matamoras. A full regiment can easily be raised. Perhaps the news rec'd. here, of the expedition to Texas under Gen. Banks, will interfere with the plan, but I hope not.

The whole country west of the Mississippi, can be subjugated in one campaign. Should this be accomplished, the Southern Confederacy would never be formidable, in case of its independence being established by Foreign interference, or by other means.

SOURCE: Diary and correspondence of Salmon P. ChaseAnnual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 329-31

Friday, December 14, 2018

William T. Sherman, December 28, 1859

Seminary, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1859.

. . . I was disappointed the two last mails at not hearing from you, but to-morrow I feel certain. I will go to town myself and take this. The time is now near at hand for opening the Seminary. I have the mess started in the building, all the carpenters are out, all the furniture ready, a pretty good stock of wood on hand and generally all things are about as far advanced as I could expect. Still I am the only one ready. The steward is sick on his plantation twelve miles off, his son and niggers are here, a good for nothing set. He has a white under steward who has some work in him and another white boy to help, and I have three negro women scrubbing out from top to bottom.

The weather is rainy, sloppy, warm and misty, everything is wet and uncomfortable, yet I have pushed things so that I at least am ready. Smith is sleeping on the floor in my room on a bed I bought for the cadets and he is waiting for his furniture from New Orleans. None of the other professors are here excepting Mr. Vallas whom I have told you about. There have been forty-three pay appointments and sixteen public, so we may expect fifty or sixty this year, which is a reasonable number as this is no time to begin. Everybody has made arrangements for this winter. Had we begun in November it would have been better. Still as this affair is designed to last forever it may be well to commence moderately first.

I had rather a lonely Christmas, nobody here but my poor drummer and myself. The three negro women rushed to my room at daylight and cried “Christmas gift, Massa,” and the negro boy Henry that chops wood and the old negro woman Amy that cooks in an outhouse for the carpenters all claimed Christmas of me thinking I am boss and as rich as Croesus himself. I disbursed about $5 in halves as each of them had done me some service uncompensated.

The old cook Amy always hid away for me the last piece of butter and made my breakfast and dinner better than the carpenters’, always saying she “knowed” I wasn't used to such kind of living. She don't know what I have passed through. Negroes on plantations are generally allowed holiday the whole week, but we can't give it here, as this week is devoted to cleaning up after the dirt of plastering, painting and tobacco spitting over seventy-two rooms, halls and galleries. An immense quantity of dirt is cleaned away, but enough yet remains to find fault with.

As to Christmas I had invitation to General Graham's, to a Mr. Henarie's in Alexandria and Professor Vallas, all declined, because of the property exposed here, which it was not prudent to leave unprotected. Soon all these things will be distributed, others will be here and sentinels to guard when I take my holiday. . .

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 93-5

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Braxton Bragg to William T. Sherman, December 16, 1859

Thibodeaux, La., December 16, 1859.

My Dear Sherman: I received your letter from the city. Had your visit only been a week later I could have met you, as my confinement is over for the present. My crop was finished on the 12th, and is by far the most profitable one I have made-giving me a net profit of $30,000 on an investment of $145,000.

On the first Monday, January second, I intend in Baton Rouge to enter on the duties of an office to which I am just elected, “Commissioner of the Board of Public Works,” a new office in this state, but the duties are old, have been discharged heretofore by swamp land commissioner, engineers, etc. The new board is to form a bureau for the general supervision and control of all state work, to appoint all officers and agents, etc. The duties are heavy, expenditures large (over $1,000,000 a year) and the patronage extensive.

Peculations, frauds, swindling and ignorance all combined to render the previous system obnoxious, and I am told the new law was intended to clear off the whole debris, that a new state of affairs might be inaugurated. I did not and do not wish the office, as it gives no prominence and little compensation, but friends, principally Richard Taylor, son of the old general, pressed me to accept a nomination, as they could find no other man whose name could defeat the rogues. Under this pressure I gave up my privacy, and shall strive to inaugurate an honest administration of affairs.

If I do no more I shall at least deserve the thanks and probably receive the maledictions of many who do not or will not understand the merits of my conduct. How long the duties will retain me in Baton Rouge on my first visit I can not foresee; but long enough I hope, to see many members of the legislature. I believe I have some influence with R. Taylor,1 the senator from this district, and I will try to intrest him in the Seminary. He is a very plain, straightforward man, of great independence, candid, honest and clearheaded. Whatever he promises we may rely on, as he has great influence. I have but few others to look to as acquaintances now, except the senator from Terrebonne, F. S. Goode, who is like Taylor, and with whom I shall intercede. The representatives from this parish are very poor sticks and unreliable.

We must try and secure an additional allowance or an appropriation to pay for the sixteen state cadets. I clearly see that you will need funds very soon, unless this can be done, for the people of the country are not yet sufficiently aware of the institution and its plan, etc., to patronize it beyond your suggestion. In time I have no doubt, if we can sustain it in its infancy, it will become popular and self-supporting. In the meantime, we must try to harmonize conflicting interests and opinions.

We all aim at the same great end — to furnish the most suitable and most useful education to the rising young men of our state. High literary institutions are growing up around us in every direction, but in the scientific and military we are sadly deficient. No class of people on the face of the earth are more dependent on science and discipline for success than the southern planters. Scan the whole area of our state and see what proportion of its capital and labor is devoted to science. See our levees, canals, for navigation and drainage; our steamers, our foundries, and last, our plantation machinery. Then apply this science to our soils, and see our woful deficiency and waste in our want of system in cultivation. The very plantation is a small military establishment, or it ought to be. By military I don't mean the old fogy notion of white belts, stiff leather stocks and “palms of the hands to the front,” but discipline, by which we secure system, regularity, method, economy of time, labor and material.

This all tends to secure better health, more labor and less exertion, and with infinitely less punishment, more comfort and happiness to the laborer, and more profit and pleasure to the master. The other consideration weighs no little with me. We have a large class of our population in subordination, just and necessary. Where do we find the fewest mutinies, revolts and rebellions? In the best disciplined commands. Human nature is the same throughout the world. Give us all disciplined masters, managers, and assistants, and we shall never hear of insurrection — unless as an exception — to be suppressed instanter without appeal to foreign aid.

As I shall not have time now to write General Graham, you can show him the foregoing. No consideration can overcome my preference for a military school, but I am open to policy in the course necessary to obtain it. For the present your course is plain, it seems to me. You are an agent selected to carry out the views of others. Your opinion might be expressed as a candid man, but your action should be confined to carrying out the system laid down for your government. When called upon for your views, give them freely. At all other times execute faithfully what is laid down for you. But this is advice I need not give you as from your letters it is the sensible view you have taken of the subject.

The other question, personal to yourself, I can readily see is calculated to make you sensitive and uncomfortable. I hope no one will be so unjust and indelicate as to refer to such a matter, but should it be done, keep silent and refer the matter to your friends. I will answer any such insinuations and vouch for your soundness in any and all ways. I have known you too long and too well to permit a doubt to cross my mind as to the soundness of your views. What sentiments your brother may entertain will be a subject for our representatives at Washington. It is all right and proper that you should wish him success. I do not, of course, know his opinions, but I believe that if he had your experience with us we should have no cause to fear him. His recommendation of that fellow's incendiary work was unfortunate, but I have no doubt was done without reflection or a knowledge of what he was doing, and that he heartily repents of an inconsiderate act. I have not the same charity for a good many of our northern representatives. They go too far, as do some of our own, but they being the aggressors there is some palliation on our side.

Mrs. B. joins me in regards and wishing you every success.
_______________

1 Richard Taylor, son of President Taylor, later a confederate general. — Ed.

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 80-3

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 4, 1864

Another delightfully cool morning. There are not a great many guards here to watch over us, and it would be possible for all to break away without much trouble. The men, however, are so sure of liberty that they prefer to wait until given legitimately. Would like to have seen this guard hold us last summer at Andersonville. Fresh meat again to-day. Rebels go out to neighboring plantations and take cattle, drive them here, and butcher for us to eat. Rice is also given us to eat. Have plenty of wood to cook with. Have traded off the old missmated pair of brogans for a smaller and good pair, and feel quite like a dandy. Have some money to buy extras. Have plenty of food yet from that given me at Doctortown. Divide with the Bucks, or rather, it is all one common mess, and what any one owns belongs equally to the others. Rebels glum and cross, and sometimes we laugh at them, and then they swear and tell us to shut up or they will blow our heads off. Blackshear is a funny name and it is a funny town, if there is any, for as yet I haven't been able to see it. Probably a barn and a hen-coop comprise the place. Cars go thundering by as if the Yanks were after them About every train loaded with troops. Go first one way and then the other. Think they are trying to keep out of the way themselves.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 131-2

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 3, 1863

Nothing from the armies; but from Charleston it is ascertained that the enemy's batteries on Morris Island have some of the guns pointing seaward. This indicates a provision against attack from that quarter, and suggests a purpose to withdraw the monitors, perhaps to use them against Wilmington. I suppose the opposite guns in the batteries will soon open on Charleston.

Thomas Jackson, Augusta, Ga., writes that he can prove the president of the Southern Express Company, who recently obtained a passport to visit Europe, really embarked for the United States, taking a large sum in gold; that another of the same company (which is nothing more than a branch of Adams's Express Company of New York) will leave soon with more gold. He says this company has enough men detailed from the army, and conscripts exempted, to make two regiments.

J. M. Williams writes from Morton, Miss., that his negroes have been permitted to return to his plantation, near Baton Rouge, and place themselves under his overseer. During their absence some ten or twelve died. This is really wonderful policy on the part of the enemy — a policy which, if persisted in, might ruin us. Mr. Williams asks permission to sell some fifty bales of cotton to the enemy for the support of his slaves. He says the enemy is getting all the cotton in that section of country — and it may be inferred that all the planters are getting back their slaves. The moment any relaxation occurs in the rigorous measures of the enemy, that moment our planters cease to be united in resistance.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 60-1

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: November 25, 1864

This morning got up cold and stiff; not enough covering. Pushed off in the direction pointed out by the darkey of yesterday. Have come in the vicinity of negro shanties and laying in wait for some good benevolent colored brother. Most too many dogs yelping around to suit a runaway Yankee. Little nigs and the canines run together. If I can only attract their attention without scaring them to death, shall be all right. However, there is plenty of time, and won't rush things. Time is not valuable with me. Will go sure and careful. Don't appear to be any men folks around; more or less women of all shades of color. This is evidently a large plantation; has thirty or forty negro huts in three or four rows. They are all neat and clean to outward appearances. In the far distance and toward what I take to be the main road is the master's residence. Can just see a part of it. Has a cupola on top and is an ancient structure. Evidently a nice plantation. Lots of cactus grows wild all over, and is bad to tramp through. There is also worlds of palm leaves, such as five cent fans are made of. Hold on there, two or three negro men are coming from the direction of the big house to the huts. Don't look very inviting to trust your welfare with. Will still wait, McCawber like, for something to turn up. If they only knew the designs I have on them, they would turn pale. Shall be ravenous by night and go for them. I am near a spring of water, and lay down flat and drink. The “Astor House Mess” is moving around for a change; hope I won't make a mess of it. Lot of goats looking at me now, wondering, I suppose, what it is. Wonder if they butt? Shoo! going to rain, and if so I must sleep in one of those shanties. Negroes all washing up and getting ready to eat, with doors open No, thank you; dined yesterday. Am reminded of the song: “What shall we do, when the war breaks the country up, and scatters us poor darkys all around.” This getting away business is about the best investment I ever made. Just the friendliest fellow ever was. More than like a colored man, and will stick closer than a brother if they will only let me. Laugh when I think of the old darky of yesterday's experience, who liked me first rate only wanted me to go away. Have an eye on an isolated hut that looks friendly. shall approach it at dark. People at the hut are a woman and two or three children, and a jolly looking and acting negro man. Being obliged to lay low in the shade feel the cold, as it is rather damp and moist. Later.—Am in the hut and have eaten a good supper. shall sleep here to-night. The negro man goes early in the morning, together with all the male darky population, to work on fortifications at Fort McAllister. Says the whole country is wild at the news of approaching Yankee army. Negro man named “Sam” and woman “Sandy.” Two or three negroes living here in these huts are not trustworthy, and I must keep very quiet and not be seen. Children perfectly awe struck at the sight of a Yankee. Negroes very kind but afraid. Criminal to assist me. Am five miles from Doctortown. Plenty of "gubers" and yams. Tell them all about my imprisonment. Regard the Yankees as their friends. Half a dozen neighbors come in by invitation, shake hands with me, scrape the floor with their feet, and rejoice most to death at the good times coming. “Bress de Lord,” has been repeated hundreds of times in the two or three hours I have been here. Surely I have fallen among friends. All the visitors donate of their eatables, and although enough is before me to feed a dozen men, I give it a tussle. Thus ends the second day of my freedom, and it is glorious

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 123-4