Showing posts with label Sheep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sheep. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his daughter Dolly, January 30, 1863

ALBERTI's Mills, 40 miles from FERNANDINA.
January 30, 1863. 

This river is rebellious to the last degree. It is very crooked and sluggish and black and got us aground so many times in the long, sleepless night that rebel pickets might have picked off many of our men and officers. Again and again we had to turn points at right angles and we were never more than two rods from one or the other shore. Often the sides of our boat were swept by the boughs of the mournful looking trees. The shores are generally low and marshy, and the moss droops so low as to give the appearance of weeping willows. It is now eleven, A.M. and we are starting homeward. Oh, it is a queer night, so queer that more than once I laughed outright, when I thought of the curious fact that T. W. H. and I were so industriously trying to get a peep at real rebels, while they would undoubtedly do something to get a peep at us. In my time I have seen considerable mismanagement of one kind and another, but do not remember that I ever dreamed that so much of that article could be employed in one night on board a steamboat. Among the boat's officers there was no mutual understanding, and it is fortunate for us that the rebels did not know it. But at daylight we did reach Alberti's Mills, and then came for me an hour of fitful, dreamy sleep. I had made three vigorous efforts to sleep during the night, but enjoyed the calm moonlight and strange scenery and spice of danger too much for drowsiness. We passed picket fires and felt the possibility that our return might be obstructed, or greatly harassed. Very few officers have voluntarily dared such a responsibility as that resting on our Colonel, but he patiently and vigilantly met all the obstacles and had his pickets and skirmishers so arranged. . . .

Evening and Ben Deford again, thank God!

 I had written thus far when the rebels began firing from the shore and I found myself among our soldiers, who replied with spirit and precision that sent more than one poor fellow to the dust.

Captain Clifton of the John Adams was shot through the head and died instantly. The Major's [J. D. Strong] head escaped by about two inches.

Strange to say no other accidents occurred in this nor in the subsequent firing from the bluffs on the Florida shore. The first attack was from the Georgia bluffs. They were both desperate, but of short duration. One fellow actually jumped on the flat-boat in tow, and was immediately shot by one of our soldiers. I afterwards asked Robert Sutton what he himself was about during the conflict, and found that he was deliberately shooting from the pilot house, with two guns, having a man to load one while he fired the other. But now I will go back to the sunrise. As I was saying, the pickets and skirmishers were so placed that there was no escape for the white families at Alberti’s Mills. The Colonel had gone ashore and a little after sunrise sent for me to go off and take with me some copies of the President's proclamation. I found a little village, all included in the A. estate, and the mansion was occupied by Madame A. and her family. She was a New Yorker by birth and her deceased husband was a native of Philadelphia. Mr. B., former business partner of his - A.'s was at the house on a visit, ill with chronic bronchitis. He, being an important person, must be made prisoner, unless too feeble to be removed from the house. I found, on examination, that he could be taken with us without danger to himself. Madame A. spent much time trying to convince me that she and her husband had been wonderfully devoted to the interests of their slaves, especially to the fruitless work of trying to educate them. The truth of these assertions was disproved by certain facts, such as a strong slave jail, containing implements of torture which we now have in our possession, (the lock I have), the fact that the slaves have “mostly gone over to the Yankees,” and the yet other fact that Robert Sutton, a former slave there, said the statement was false. The statement of a black man was lawful in Dixie yesterday. I called Madame A.'s attention to a former slave of hers, whom she remembered as “Bob,” but never before knew as Robert Sutton, corporal in the army of the United States. Robert begged me to forgive him for breaking through my order that he should not exert himself at all till the danger of inflammation of the brain should be averted. The white bandage about his head was conspicuous at the points of danger through all the twenty-four eventful hours of our expedition. It finally devolved upon him and Sergeant Rivers1 to examine the persons of our six rebel prisoners, for concealed weapons of defense. This last process was so very anti-slavery, that I fancied the rebels enjoyed it somewhat less than I.

I am told that thirteen riderless horses went back to camp after that fight in the woods the other night; that the lieutenant [Jones] in command and five others were killed and many others wounded. Could our party have known the exact state of affairs, the camp might have been destroyed and many prisoners taken. But it was safer and wiser for infantry not to follow cavalry in the night. Our comrades on the Ben Deford greeted us heartily and the Provost Marshal was in readiness to take charge of our prisoners. We shall probably take Mr. B. to Beaufort with us. He is a wealthy and influential rebel and may become a very important hostage when Jeff Davis begins to hang us. We brought off two or three negroes, and rice, corn, sheep and other valuable things, strictly contraband of war. I wanted the Colonel to take a piano already boxed, and in a store-house at the wharf, but we had no room for it. I thought it would especially please Miss Forten to have it in her school.


1 Prince Rivers.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 352-4

Monday, November 2, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 20, 1862


Lying around here in the woods, hearing no sound but the moaning of the wind through the tree tops, is rather dull business. There is nothing in it that inspires any lofty, rapturous thought, and yet it inspires thought, and already one of Mr. Bogey’s sheep has fallen a victim to thoughts inspired by the soughing of the wind through this dark forest shutting out the day; I reckon it will not be necessary to say anything to Mr. Bogey about it, as he is a loyal man, and, as the lawyers say, the presumption is he would be more than glad to contribute a mutton in suppression of this unholy rebellion. 


The woods here abound in timber of the finest description, many of the trees attaining height of more than 100 feet. It is ... seldom one is seen of more than two feet in diameter at its base, tapering but slightly and without limbs for a distance of from 60 to 80 feet. I have seen some that would square fifteen inches, 80 feet from the stump. These are the turpentine trees, and the pitch, or turpentine as it is called, is obtained by cutting a wide, deep box at the base of the tree capable of holding two or three quarts of the pitch. From each corner of the box the bark is stripped off, coming to a point about three feet above the box. This is done when the tree is first boxed. The next year about three feet more of the bark is removed, coming to a point as before. This process goes on until the tree is blazed for a distance of 20 or more feet, and can be done on the east, south and west sides of the trees. The tree will run pitch quite a number of years before it dies, and is then called lightwood, and is either split up into rails or converted into tar. The pitch that runs into the boxes is dipped out into barrels, and is called dip or virgin turpentine, while that which adheres to the tree is scraped off and is called scrape, and is less valuable than the dip. The pitch is barreled up and sold to the distillers. Tar is obtained by cutting the lightwood into lengths of about eight feet and split fine; a tunnel-shaped hole is dug in the ground, with the center about three feet deep, and from the center a drain runs to a barrel or vat sunk low enough in the ground to receive the tar as it runs from the kiln. The wood is packed in this hole with the ends to the center, keeping the center lowest; when all the wood required for the kiln is piled up, the sides and top are plastered over with clay, and the fire kindled on top. The fire smouldering down through the pile, tries out the tar, which settling to the bottom, runs out into the vat, and is then barreled. A kiln will run from ten to twenty barrels according to size.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 59-60

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: October 20, 1864

Alpine, Chatuga Valley, October 20, 1864.

Got here at dark last night, eight miles from Summerville. We seemed to be headed southwest. I have the sorest feet I have enjoyed for two years. Do you notice how accurately I miss it in every prediction I venture? I am a fair sample of the ignorance “Pap” keeps this army of his movements. He has shown his ability to keep us from divining his purposes, but he or any other general cannot keep us from guessing. Fine country here, for Georgia. An officer and 20 men are detailed daily for foragers.

They start ahead in the morning, and shoot hogs, sheep, gather sweet potatoes, apples, etc., and bring all out to the roadside. The hogs and sheep are cut into pieces of about 20 or 25 pounds. When the regiment comes along every man makes a grab as he passes at the pile, throws his chunk over his shoulder, and all without breaking ranks. You can imagine the appearance a battalion would make at nightfall.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 314

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Major-General Philip H. Sheridan to Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, October 7, 1864—9 p.m.

WOODSTOCK, October 7, 18649 p.m.                
(Received 9th.)

I have the honor to report my command at this point to-night. I commenced moving back from Port Republic, Mount Crawford, Bridgewater, and Harrisonburg yesterday morning. The grain and forage in advance of these points up to Staunton had previously been destroyed. In moving back to this point the whole country from the Blue Ridge to the North Mountains has been made untenable for a rebel army. I have destroyed over 2,000 barns filled with wheat, hay, and farming implements; over seventy mills filled with flour and wheat; have driven in front of the army over 4[,000] head of stock, and have killed and issued to the troops not less than 3,000 sheep. This destruction embraces the Luray Valley and Little Fort Valley, as well as the main valley. A large number of horses have been obtained, a proper estimate of which I cannot now make. Lieut. John R. Meigs, my engineer officer, was murdered beyond Harrisonburg, near Dayton. For this atrocious act all the houses within an area of five miles were burned. Since I came into the Valley, from Harper's Ferry up to Harrisonburg, every train, every small party, and every straggler has been bushwhacked by people, many of whom have protection papers from commanders who have been hitherto in this valley. From the vicinity of Harrisonburg over 400 wagon-loads of refugees have been sent back to Martinsburg; most of these people were Dunkers and had been conscripted. The people here are getting sick of the war; heretofore they have had no reason to complain, because they have been living in great abundance. I have not been followed by the enemy up to this point, with the exception of a small force of rebel cavalry that showed themselves some distance behind my rear guard to-day. A party of 100 of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, which I had stationed at the bridge over the North Shenandoah, near Mount Jackson, was attacked by McNeill, with seventeen men; report they were asleep, and the whole party dispersed or captured. I think that they will all turn up; I learn that fifty-six of them have reached Winchester. McNeill was mortally wounded and fell into our hands. This was fortunate, as he was the most daring and dangerous of all the bushwhackers in this section of the country. I would have preferred sending troops to you by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; it would have been the quickest and most concealed way of sending them. The keeping open of the road to Front Royal will require large guards to protect it against a very small number of partisan troops. It also obliges me to have a pontoon train, if it is to be kept open, to bridge the Shenandoah and keep up communication with Winchester. However, in a day or two I can tell better. I sent a party of cavalry through Thornton's Gap, and directed the balance of the division of cavalry which I have left in the Valley to take position at Millwood, occupying Chester Gap and Front Royal. Thornton's Gap I have given up, as of no value. With this disposition of forces, I will move infantry round the mountains, via Strasburg, as soon as possible. To-morrow I will continue the destruction of wheat, forage, &c., down to Fisher's Hill. When this is completed the Valley, from Winchester up to Staunton, ninety-two miles, will have but little in it for man or beast. In previous dispatches I have used "lower Valley" when I should have said "upper Valley," or, in other words, in my last dispatch I intended to say that the grain and forage from Staunton up to Lexington had been sent to Richmond, and that the grain and forage from Staunton to Strasburg had been left for the wintering of Early's army. Yesterday Colonel Powell captured a guerrilla camp on the mountains, with ten wagons and teams.

P. H. SHERIDAN,                
 Lieutenant-General GRANT.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 43, Part 1 (Serial No. 91), p. 30-1

Monday, April 27, 2020

Major-General Philip H. Sheridan to Lieutenant-General Ulysses. S. Grant, August 17, 1864—9 p.m.

BERRYVILLE, VA., August 17, 18649 p.m.
Lieut. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Commanding Armies of the United States:

All your dispatches have been received. Kershaw's division is here, and Wickham's and Lomax's brigades, of Fitz Lee's cavalry division, also another brigade from Reams' Station. The First Cavalry Division captured 300 prisoners yesterday; most of them belonged to Kershaw's division. One division of A. P. Hill's corps is reported here, but no prisoners taken. The position that I held in front of Strasburg was a very bad one, from which I could be forced at any time precipitately. Winchester is untenable except as a provisioned garrison. I have, therefore, taken a position near Berryville, which will enable me to get in their rear if they should get strong enough to push north. Winchester is now held by the cavalry, with one brigade of infantry of the Sixth Corps to act with it. The cavalry engagement in front of Front Royal was splendid; it was on open ground; the saber was freely used by our men. Great credit is due to Generals Merritt and Custer and Colonel Devin. My impression is that troops are still arriving.

Kershaw's and Fitz Lee's divisions came through Culpeper. Mosby has annoyed me and captured a few wagons. We hung one and shot six of his men yesterday. I have burned all wheat and hay, and brought off all stock, sheep, cattle, horses, &c., south of Winchester. The prisoners captured belong to Kershaw's division, and Wickham's and Lomax's brigades, of Fitz Lee's cavalry division.

P. H. SHERIDAN,                

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 43, Part 1 (Serial No. 90), p. 822

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers: Jaunt to Vermont, October 20, 1838

We have recently journeyed through a portion of this free state, and it is not all imagination in us, that sees, in its bold scenery, — its uninfected, inland position, its mountainous, but fertile and verdant surface, the secret of the noble and antislavery predisposition of its people. They are located for freedom. Liberty's home is on their Green Mountains. Their farmer-republic no where touches the ocean — “the highway of the” world's crimes, as well as its “nations.” It has no seaport for the importation of slavery, or the exportation of its own highland republicanism. Vermont is accordingly the earliest anti-slavery state, and should slavery ever prevail over this nation to its utter subjugation, the last, lingering footsteps of retiring liberty will be seen — not, as Daniel Webster said, in the proud old commonwealth of Massachusetts, about Bunker hill and Faneuil hall, (places long since deserted of freedom) — but wailing, like Jephtha's daughter, among the “hollows,” and along the sides of the Green Mountains.

Vermont shows gloriously at this autumn season. Frost has gently laid hands on her exuberant vegetation, tinging her rockmaple woods, without abating the deep verdure of her herbage. Every where along her peopled hollows and her bold hill-slopes and summits is alive with green, while her endless hard-wood forests are uniformed with all the hues of early fall — richer than the regimentals of the kings that glittered in the train of Napoleon on the confines of Poland, when he lingered there on the last outposts of summer, before plunging into the snow-drifts of the North — more gorgeous than the “array” of Saladin's lifeguard in the wars of the Crusaders — or of “Solomon in all his glory” — decked in all colors and hues, but still the hues of life. Vegetation touched, but not dead, or if killed, not bereft yet of  “signs of life.” “Decay's effacing fingers” had not yet “swept the ‘hills,’ where beauty lingers.” All looked fresh as growing foliage. Vermont frosts don't seem to be “killing frosts.” They only change aspects of beauty. The mountain pastures, verdant to the peaks, and over the peaks of the high, steep hills, were covered with the amplest feed, and clothed with countless sheep; — the hay-fields heavy with second crop, in some partly cut and abandoned, as if in very weariness and satiety, blooming with honey-suckle, contrasting strangely with the colors on the woods — the fat cattle and the long-tailed colts and close-built Morgans wallowing in it, up to the eyes, or the cattle down to rest, with full bellies, by ten in the morning. Fine but narrow roads wound along among the hills — free, almost entirely, of stone, and so smooth as to be safe for the most rapid driving — made of their rich, dark, powder-looking soil. Beautiful villages or scattered settlements breaking upon the delighted view, on the meandering way, making the ride a continued scene of excitement and animation. The air fresh, free and wholesome, — no steaming of the fever and ague of the West, or the rank slaveholding of the South,—the road almost dead level for miles and miles among mountains that lay over the land like the great swells of the sea, and looking, in the prospect, as though there could be no passage. On the whole, we never, in our limited travel, experienced any thing like it, and we commend any one, given to despondency or dumps, to a ride, in beginning of October, chaise-top back, fleet horses tandem, fresh from the generous fodder and thorough-going groomage of Steel's tavern, a forenoon Tide, from White-river Sharon, through Tunbridge, to Chelsea Hollow. There's nothing on Salem turnpike like the road, and nothing, any where, a match for “the lay of the land” and the ever-varying, animating landscape.

We can't praise Vermonters for their fences or their barns, and it seems to us their out-houses and door-yards hardly correspond with the well-built dwellings. But they have no stones for wall — no red oak or granite for posts, or pine growth for rails and boards in their hard-wood forests, and we queried, as we observed their “insufficient fences” and lack of pounds, whether such barriers as our side of the Connecticut we have to rear about an occasional patch of feed, could be necessary in a country where no “creatures” appeared to run in the road, and where there was not choice enough in field and pasture, to make it an object for any body to be breachy, or to stray — and where every hoof seemed to have its hands full at home. Poor fences there seemed to answer all purposes of good ones among us, where every blade of grass has to be watched and guarded from the furtive voracity of hungry New Hampshire stock.

The farmers looked easy and care-free. We saw none that seemed back-broken with hard work, or brow-wrinkled with fear of coming to want. How do your crops come in, sir? “O, middlin’.” — How much wheat? “Well, about three hundred. Wheat han't filled well.” — How much hay do you cut? “Well, sir, from eighty to one hundred ton.” Corn? “Over four hundred; corn is good.” How many potatoes? “Well, I don't know; we've dug from eight hundred to one thousand.” How many cattle do you keep? “Only thirty odd head this year; cattle are scarce.” Sheep? “Three hundred and odd.” Horse kind? “Five,” and so on. And yet the Vermont farmers are leaving for the West.

The only thing we saw, that looked anti-republican, was their magnificent State House, which gleams among their hills more like some ancient Greek temple, than the agency house of a self-governed democracy. It is a very imposing object. Of the severest and most compact proportions, its form and material (the solid granite) comporting capitally with the surrounding scenery. About one hundred and fifty feet long, and some eighty or one hundred wide, we should judge, an oblong square, with a central projection in front, the roof of it supported on a magnificent row of granite pillars — the top a dome without spire. It looks as if it had been translated from old Thebes or Athens, and planted down among Ethan Allen's Green Mountains. It stands on a ledge of rock; close behind it a hill, somewhat rocky and rugged for Vermont; and before it, descends an exceedingly fine and extensive yard, fenced with granite and iron in good keeping with the building, the ground covered with the richest verdure, broken into wide walks, and planted with young trees. It is a very costly structure; but Vermont can afford it, though we hold to cheap and very plain State houses, inasmuch as the seat of government with us is, or should be, at the people's homes. We want to see the dwelling-houses of the “owners of the soil,” the palaces of the country. There the sovereignty of the country should hold its court, and there its wealth should be expended. Let despots and slaveholders build their pompous public piles and their pyramids of Egypt.

The apartments and furniture of the State House within are very rich, and, we should judge, highly commodious. The Representatives' Hall a semicircular, with cushioned seats, a luxury hardly suited to the humor of the stout old Aliens and Warners of early times, and comporting but slightly with the hardy habits of the Green Mountain boys, who now come there, and in brief session pass anti-slavery resolutions, to the dismay of the haughty South, and the shame of the neighboring dough-faced North.

Their legislature was about to sit — and an anti-slavery friend, one of their state officers, informed us that Alvan Stewart was expected there, to attend their anti-slavery anniversary. We should have rejoiced to stay and hear him handle southern slavery in that Vermont State House. — We trust yet to hear George Thompson there. It shall be our voice, when he comes again, that he go directly into Vermont; that he land there from Canada. Let him leave England in some man-of-war, that hoists the “meteor flag,” and mounts guns only in chase of the slave ship, and enter the continent by way of the gulf of St. Lawrence. Let him tarry some months among the farmers of Vermont, and tell them the whole mysteries of slavery, and infuse into their yeoman-hearts his own burning abhorrence of it, till they shall loathe slaveholding as they loathe the most dastardly thieving, and with one stern voice, from the Connecticut to Champlain, demand its annihilation. We would have him go into the upland farming towns — not to the shores of the lake, where the steamboat touches, to land the plague of pro-slavery — nor to the capital, where “property and standing” might turn up the nose at the negro's equal humanity, or the vassals of “the northern man with southern principles” veto the anti-slavery meeting with a drunken mob — but to Randolph Hill, to Danville Green, the swells of Peacham, and the plains of St. Johnsbury, to Strafford Hollow and the vales of Tunbridge and Sharon — William Slade's Middlebury, and up among James Bell's Caledonia hills. Let the South learn that George Thompson Was Stirring The Vermonters Up Among The Green Mountains. See if Alabama would send a requisition for him to Anti-slavery Governor Jennison, or Anti-slavery Lieut. Gov. Camp. And what response, think ye, she would get back? — a Gilchrist report — or the thundering judgment rather of stout old Justice Harrington to the shivering slave-chaser— “Show Me Your Bill Of Sale Of This Man From The Almighty!” [“]A decision,” said a judge of the present truly upright and learned bench of that state, “no less honorable to Judge Harrington's head than his heart, and Good Law.”

Let George Thompson land in Vermont, and stay there, till other states shall learn the courage to guaranty him his rights within their own borders, if they have not learned it already for shame. He can do anti-slavery's work, and all of it, in Vermont. He need go no farther south. They can hear him distinctly, every word he says, from Randolph Green clear down to Texas. John C. Calhoun would catch every blast of his bugle; and assassin Preston startle at its note, in the rotunda at Charleston. And by and by, when every Vermont farmer shall have heard his voice, and shaken his hand and welcomed him to his hearth-stone, let him come down into Montpelier and shake that granite State House; and mayhap to fair Burlington, to that University — where the colored student can now enjoy, unrestricted, all the equal privileges of field recitation; where he may come, under cloud of night, to gaze at the stars on the very same common with the young New-Yorker, and the son of the rich merchant of this fair city of the lake, or accompany them, in broad day, on an excursion of trigonometry, in the open fields. The doors of that college chapel would open wide to George Thompson, after the Green Mountain boys had once heard him speak.

But we are lingering too long for our readers or ourselves, m this noble state. We hasten back to our own native, sturdy quarry of rocks and party politics.

SOURCE: Collection from the Miscellaneous Writings of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, Second Edition, p. 34-8 which states it was published in the Herald of Freedom of October 20, 1838.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Friday, October 7, 1864

Daylight advanced the line of pickets. Saw reb. Division massed, 2nd Brigade in rear. Attacked and broken in the P. M. 1st Brigade checked the rebs, lost some forges and sheep and cattle. Col. Pennington took command today. Camped at Columbia Furnace.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 132

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: October 2, 1863

October 2, 1863.

Our foraging party brought in forty mules, fifty cattle, beef, twenty-one hogs and thirty sheep. They report a beautiful, rich country, and abundance of eatables within five miles of the landing. Went with party of bee hunters in the p. m. They had found the tree in the forenoon. They took two bucketsful of most beautiful white comb. One of my sergeants in an hour to-day found three trees, and by dark had taken the honey from all of them. We are to stay here and haul wood for the whole division (damn).

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 195

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 8, 1863

Awoke considerably rested. Surprising how a tired man can sleep. Drew one day's ration of meal and two of H. Bread. Moved around Clinch Mountain to Blains Cross Roads. Boys killed a flock of sheep. Passed a division of the 9th Army Corps in camp. Stopped with boys at a house near road leading to Walker's Gap. Got coffee and then slept in good bed — secesh.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 100

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: May 20, 1863

Reports from the West say we lost 3000 and the enemy 6000 men in the battle of the 15th inst, when Pemberton fell back over the Black River. Our forces numbered only 12,000, Grant's three times that number. Something decisive must occur before Vicksburg in a few days.

Mr. J. W. Henry writes from New's Ferry, that parties of cavalry, going about the country, professing to belong to our Gen. Stuart's corps, are probably Yankee spies making observations preparatory for another raid. The city councils are organizing the citizens for local defense, thinking it probable another dash may be made.

Gen. Dix threatens to hang the citizens of Williamsburg if they co-operate with Gen. Wise in his frequent attacks on the Federals. Gen. Wise replies, threatening to hang Gen. Dix if he carries his threat into execution, and should fall into his hands, in a more summary manner than John Brown was hung for making his raid in Virginia.

Butter is worth $4 per pound. A sheep is worth $50. A cow $500.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 328

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Wednesday, October 22, 1862

After breakfast went out on Culver's horse foraging with Spurgeon and Bushnell. Got some apples and a sheep. At one house where we stopped, two sons were forced into the army. The people felt very badly. The old lady, 70 years old, prayed very earnestly and loudly for mercy and protection — quite touching.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 38

Friday, November 11, 2016

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, September 20, 1862

Reveille at sunrise. Boys got the coffee and bacon ready at the creek. Went down with Archie, washed and breakfasted.

As we passed the Big Drywood, we noticed our bed of rough crooked poles. Reached Lamar at 4 P. M. Orders for no man to enter any house or to disturb any property whatever. Some complaining at first but boys soon saw it was the better way. Capt. bought a sheep for breakfast. Noticed several rather tasty girls.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 32

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Colonel Eliakim P Scammon, May 2, 1862 – 4:30 p.m.

Camp Number 5, Princeton, May 2, 1862. 4:30 P. M.

Sir: — Company B and a company of cavalry scouted the road towards Wytheville several miles today. They report the enemy all gone to Rocky Gap. None, bushwhackers, or others, anywhere in the direction near here. Numbers of militia who were in service here yesterday are reported escaped to their homes and willing to take the oath of allegiance and surrender their arms. A cavalry company scouted the road towards Giles. They report the Forty-fifth retreated in great haste to Giles, saying they found Princeton just occupied by two thousand cavalry and eight thousand infantry. Their panic on falling in with Colonel Paxton's cavalry was even more complete than was supposed. They left knapsacks, blankets, and baggage. They had marched over twenty miles yesterday to get here and were worn-out.

There was a mistake as to the enemy firing on our couriers. No bushwhackers have been seen between here and Flat Top since we passed. Three parties have passed the entire distance since baggage trains. Negro servants of officers straggling along alone, etc., etc., and nobody disturbed by the enemy. The courier rode past a picket post of one of my scouting parties refusing to halt, and was therefore fired on.

Captain Gilmore is here with his company. Lieutenant Cooper and property left at Shady Spring is here. Forage is turning up in small quantities in a place but amounts to an important item in the aggregate. Fifteen head of cattle have been gathered up. There are sheep and hogs of some value.

Only twelve men reported excused from duty out of seven hundred Twenty-third men who came up. Company C I left behind to look after their wounded. They will come up tomorrow. Russell G. French will perhaps be crippled for life, possibly die. Can't he be put in the position of a soldier enlisted, or something, to get his family the pension land, etc., etc.? What can be done? He was a scout in our uniform on duty at the time of receiving his wound.

If the present indications can be relied on, this region will soon return to its allegiance. If nothing new of interest transpires, will not one dispatch each day be sufficient hereafter, with the understanding that on any important event occurring a messenger will be sent?

R. B. Hayes,
Lieutenant-colonel 23D Regiment O. V. I.
[colonel Scammon.]

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 244-5

Friday, September 30, 2016

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Colonel Eliakim P Scammon, May 2, 1862 – 8 a.m.

Camp Number 5, Princeton, May 2, 8 A. M., [1862.]

Sir: — Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton with the cavalry reached here by the Giles Road about dark. He left the direct road to Princeton at Spanishburg and took the Bluff Road, which strikes the road from Giles to Princeton four miles from Princeton. We found it impossible to send the cavalry to the Tazewell or Wytheville Road, at least in time, and they went to the Giles Road hoping to catch the enemy retreating on that road. The enemy took the Wytheville Road to Rocky Gap and escaped. The cavalry on entering the Giles Road found a great number of fresh tracks leading to Princeton. Hastening on, they came suddenly on the Forty-fifth Virginia coming to the relief of Princeton. As soon as the cavalry came in sight there was a “skedaddling” of the chivalry for the hills and a scattering of knapsacks very creditable to their capacity to appreciate danger. There was a good deal of hurried firing at long range, but nobody hurt on our side and perhaps none on the other. The regiment seemed to number two or three hundred. We suppose they will not be seen again in our vicinity, but shall be vigilant.

This is a most capital point to assemble a brigade. The best camping for an army I have seen in western Virginia. Stabling enough is left for all needful purposes, two or three fine dwellings for headquarters, and smaller houses in sufficient numbers for storage. The large buildings were nearly all burned, all of the brick buildings included. Churches all gone and public buildings of all sorts. Meat — sheep, cattle, and hogs — in sufficient quantities to keep starvation from the door. If you will send salt we shall be able to live through the bad roads. Forage I know nothing of — there must be some. Our couriers were fired on at Bluestone. They report Foley's gang is scattered along the road. There should be a strong force at Flat Top under an enterprising man like Colonel Jones. The country we passed over yesterday is the most dangerous I have seen; at least twelve miles of the twenty-two [miles] needs skirmishing.

If quartermasters are energetic there ought to be no scarcity here. The road can't get worse than it was yesterday and our trains kept up to a fast-moving column nearly all the way. The Twenty-third marched beautifully. A steady rain, thick slippery mud, and twenty-two miles of travelling they did, closed up well, without grumbling, including wading Bluestone waist-deep. The section of the battery behaved well. I have already praised the cavalry. You see how I am compelled to write — a sentence and then an interruption; you will excuse the result. I am very glad the telegraph is coming; we shall need it. I have just heard that the train and one piece of artillery was in rear of the point where our cavalry came on the Forty-fifth. I would be glad to pursue them but am bound to obey instructions in good faith. Rest easy on that point. The men are praying that they [the enemy] may be encouraged yet to come to us.

R. B. Hayes,
Lieutenant-colonel 23D Regiment O. V. I.

P. S. — Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton will act as provost marshal. He is admirably fitted for it and is pleased to act.

[colonel Scammon.]

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 243-4

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Diary of Dolly Lunt Burge: November 22, 1864

After breakfast this morning I went over to my grave-yard to see what had befallen that. To my joy, I found it had not been disturbed. As I stood by my dead, I felt rejoiced that they were at rest. Never have I felt so perfectly reconciled to the death of my husband as I do to-day, while looking upon the ruin of his lifelong labor. How it would have grieved him to see such destruction! Yes, theirs is the lot to be envied. At rest, rest from care, rest from heartaches, from trouble. . . .

Found one of my large hogs killed just outside the grave-yard.

Walked down to the swamp, looking for the wagon and gear that Henry hid before he was taken off. Found some of my sheep; came home very much wearied, having walked over four miles.

Mr. and Mrs. Rockmore called. Major Lee came down again after some cattle, and while he was here the alarm was given that more Yankees were coming. I was terribly alarmed and packed my trunks with clothing, feeling assured that we should be burned out now. Major Lee swore that he would shoot, which frightened me, for he was intoxicated enough to make him ambitious. He rode off in the direction whence it was said they were coming. Soon after, however, he returned, saying it was a false alarm, that it was some of our own men. Oh, dear! Are we to be always living in fear and dread! Oh, the horrors, the horrors of war!

SOURCE: Dolly Lunt Burge, A Woman's Wartime Journal, p. 38-40

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Saturday, April 18, 1863

At daylight we discovered, to our horror, that three of our mules were absent; but after an hour's search they were brought back in triumph by the Judge.

This delayed our start till 6.30. A.M.

I walked ahead again with the Judge, who explained to me that he was a “senator,” or member of the Upper House of Texas — “just like your House of Lords” he said. He gets $5 a-day whilst sitting, and is elected for four years*

We struck water at 8.30 A.M., and bought a lamb for a dollar. We also bought some beef, which in this country is dried in strips by the sun, after being cut off the bullock, and it keeps good for any length of time. To cook it, the strips are thrown for a few minutes on hot embers.

One of our mules was kicked last night. Mr Sargent rubbed the wound with brandy, which did it much good.

Soon after leaving this well, Mr Sargent discovered that, by following the track of Mr Ward's waggons, he had lost the way. He swore dreadfully, and solaced himself with so much gin, that when we arrived at Sulphur Creek at 12.30, both he and the Judge were, by their own confession, quite tight.

We halted, ate some salt meat, and bathed in this creek, which is about forty yards broad and three feet deep.

Mr Sargent's extreme “tightness” caused him to fall asleep on the box when we started again, but the more seasoned Judge drove the mules.

The signs of getting out of the sands now began to be apparent; and at 5 P.M. we were able to halt at a very decent place with grass, but no water. We suffered here for want of water, our stock being very nearly expended.

Mr Sargent, who was now comparatively sober, killed the sheep most scientifically at 5.30 P.M.; and at 6.30 we were actually devouring it, and found it very good. Mr Sargent cooked it by the simple process of stewing junks of it in a frying-pan, but we had only just enough water to do this.

* I was afterwards told that the Judge's term of service had expired. El Paso was his district.

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three months in the southern states: April-June, 1863, p. 37-9

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dr. Joseph T. Webb to Lucy Webb Hayes, March 12, 1862

About thirty miles from here, on New River, lives an old man (Richmond) and several sons. His boys are all grown and living to themselves, some four and five miles from the old man. They have lived out there many years and for this country are all rich. Besides being wealthy they are all very powerful (physically) and are the leaders, as it were, of society. They have the best horses, cattle, etc. of any one out here. They are noted for their fine horses. They are all strong Union men, and have been very much angered by the Rebels taking their cattle, sheep, etc. — stealing them. A few days since some Rebel cavalry concluded they would arrest the squire and take his horses. Accordingly day before yesterday, just at daybreak, three Rebel cavalry called at the squire's and took him prisoner. They also took three of his fine horses. They put the squire on a horse behind one of the cavalrymen, and started off with him. After they had gone some ten miles, they came to a noted Rebel's house, and all cheered at the capture of the squire. This was too much for him, and he determined to make his escape. They had gone but a short distance when the Rebel behind whom he was riding fell back behind the other two some distance. Now was the time for the squire. So drawing a long knife from his pocket, he caught the Rebel by his hair, drew him back, and cut his throat. Both fell off the horse together. As they fell he plunged the knife into the Rebel's bowels. Then he took the Rebel's gun, and got behind a tree when one of the others returned, and the squire shot him dead. The third took to his heels and left the squire victor of the field. There is no mistake about this; he came to camp with their two guns. His knife and coat-sleeve is covered with blood. Richmond is a trump and two hundred such men would clean out this country of Rebels.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 212

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire: March 10, 1864

There has been much excitement in Richmond about Kilpatrick's and Dahlgren's raids, and the death of the latter. The cannon roared around the city, the alarm-bell rang, the reserves went out; but Richmond was safe, and we felt no alarm. As usual, they did all the injury they could to country-people, by pillaging and burning. They steal every thing they can; but the people have become very adroit in hiding. Bacon, flour, etc., are put in most mysterious places; plate and handsome china are kept under ground; horses are driven into dense woods, and the cattle and sheep are driven off. It is astonishing, though much is taken, how much is left. I suppose the raiders are too much hurried for close inspection.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 255

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire: July 3, 1863

The scarcity of blank-books, and the very high prices, make them unattainable to me; therefore I have determined to begin another volume of my Diary on some nice wrapping-paper which I happen to have; and though not very pleasant to write on, yet it is one of the least of my privations.

We are still worried by reports that the Yankees are very near us, and we are constantly expecting them to raid upon Ashland. We have a good force at “The Junction,” and at the bridge just above us, which they may respect, as they are dreadfully afraid of our forces.

Spent yesterday in the hospital; the wounded are getting on well. The city was put into a blaze of excitement by the report that General Dix was marching on it from the White House. I dare say they think that General Lee has left it undefended, in which surmise they are vastly mistaken. Our troops seem to be walking over Pennsylvania without let or hindrance. They have taken possession of Chambersburg, Carlisle, and other smaller towns. They surrendered without firing a gun. I am glad to see that General Lee orders his soldiers to respect private property; but it will be difficult to make an incensed soldiery, whose houses have in many instances been burned, crops wantonly destroyed, horses stolen, negroes persuaded off, hogs and sheep shot down and left in the field in warm weather — it will be difficult to make such sufferers remember the Christian precept of returning good for evil. The soldiers in the hospital seem to think that many a private torch will be applied “just for revenge.” It was in vain that I quoted to them, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” One stoutly maintained that he would like to go North “just to burn two good houses: one in return for my own house on Mississippi River; the other for that of my brother-in-law, both of which they burned just after landing from their boat, with no pretence at an excuse for it; and when I think of my wife and children homeless, I feel as if I could set all Yankeedom in a blaze.” Poor fellow! he became so excited that he arose in his bed, as if impatient to be off and at his work of vengeance. I am glad to hear that quantities of horses and fat cattle are driven into Virginia.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 225-6

Monday, August 24, 2015

Diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire: May 16, 1863

We were aroused this morning before daylight, by reports that the Yankees were making a raid, and were very near this place. We all dressed hastily, and the gentlemen went out to devise means to stop the trains which were to pass through. Though within five miles of us, they became aware that notice had been given of their purpose, and they immediately turned their steps to some more private place, where they might rob and plunder without molestation. The miserable poltroons, when on one of their raids, will become frightened by the sudden rising of a covey of partridges, and be diverted from their course; then they will ride bravely to a house, where they know they will only find women and children; order meals to be prepared; search the house; take the valuables; feed their horses at the barns; take off the horses from the stables; shoot the pigs, sheep, and other stock, and leave them dead in the fields; rob the poultry-yards; then, after regaling themselves on the meals which have been prepared by force, with the threats of bayonets and pistols, they ride off, having pocketed the silver spoons and forks, which may have unwittingly been left in their way.

I have been in Richmond for two days past, nursing the wounded of our little hospital. Some of them are very severely injured, yet they are the most cheerful invalids I ever saw. It is remarked in all the hospitals that the cheerfulness of the wounded in proportion to their suffering is much greater than that of the sick. Under my care, yesterday, was one poor fellow, with a ball embedded in his neck; another with an amputated leg; one with a hole in his breast, through which a bullet had passed; another with a shattered arm; and others with slighter wounds; yet all showed indomitable spirit; evinced a readiness to be amused or interested in every thing around them; asked that the morning papers might be read to them, and gloried in their late victory; and expressed an anxiety to get well, that they may have another “chance at them fellows. The Yankees are said to have landed at West Point, and are thence sending out raiding parties over the country. Colonel Davis, who led the party here on the third, has been severely wounded by a scouting party, sent out by General Wise towards Tunstall's Station. It is said he has lost his leg. So may it be!

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 213-4