Monday, 13 June, 1864

A beautiful morning, and what were my feelings on looking up the road about sunrise and seeing a body of armed men approaching the house, and on approaching nearer discovered they were Yankees.1 Seeing they had fowls of different kinds swung bleeding across the necks of their horses, I tried to keep my senses as much as possible and shut the doors, though I expected them to be broken open. Got the servants in the house and tried to keep Nan from going into spasms. Bill was out in the sugar cane and narrowly made his escape. When Nan looked through the blind and told me she saw Black men with them, I was completely unnerved. I believe if they had have come in the house, I should have dropped dead on the spot. – – They divided at the path and some rode to the barn and called for a certain horse, and after he was brought out ordered Bartlett to mount him. He refused to do so and then told him to hold Charlie till he was ready to take him, at the same time telling him if he ran he would blow his brains out.2 While they were at the barn looking at the pen of shoats and saying what they would do with the mules, some of the rest came in the yard and broke open the hen house doors and took out as many fowls as they wanted. Threw the locks away. They said at the barn they would take mules when they came again. O, what was my dread all the time, but they seemed to have but little time to stay and when they were gone I could scarcely realize it at all. – – Zac came from King and Queen not knowing what had happened. I have no doubt it galled him a great deal to lose his horse, though he said but little. Bill came about 4 o’clk, having fished all day, and by the time he commenced eating, Dellah, who I had put on picket, called out and said two men were riding to the house. He didn’t wait to look, but ran for his life. It proved to be Messrs. Edwards and Powell.3 I didn’t see him any more till towards night. – – I received a note from Bake this morning who, having heard some two or three hundred Cavalry had landed from the W.H. the evening before, threatening what they intended to do in the county.4  Desired me to secure some things and prepare for their reception. They were at the C.H. at day this morning, entered the house by breaking all the locks, went into their sleeping apartments, broke open the girls trunks.5 Tore up and destroyed things generally. I am anxious to hear from their days work elsewhere. – – Will not a just God avenge our wrongs ere long? O, I trust the day of vengeance is drawing near. Sold Mr. Rogers ½ bsh. corn for $50.

  1. As Sherman’s cavalry was still in Louisa County after the Battle of Trevilian Station, just beginning heading back south to link-up with Grant in New Kent County, these soldiers were not his. I have yet to determine their outfit, although their mission seems clear.  (back)
  2. Charlie was another Littlepage horse.  (back)
  3. Several Edwards families lived in the neighborhood. Again, this is likely E.S. Powell mentioned on the 11th. Powell, listed as both a farmer and a hotel keeper in the 1860 U.S. Census, was about 40. He had been a member of the King William Home Guard though July, 1863. Unofficial records indicate he joined “Lee’s Rangers,” but he has no official record. It is evident that in June 1864 he was very active in county defense and may well have rejoined the Home Guard.  (back)
  4. Bake had gone to Mr. Normant’s on a fishing expedition two days earlier, “with the intention of returning home with Mary King.” It is unclear whether Bake was at the Normant’s or King’s when she wrote the note. W. H. would be White House.  (back)
  5. There were at least three holdings near KW Courthouse. Locust Dale, a small five acre tract owned by Warner Edwards (1802 – 1881) and home of Kleber Edwards (1836 – 1912) and his young wife, the former Anna Eliza Corr (1839 – 1899?). According to Ethel Jackson Ahern writing in the Bulletin of the King William Historical Society, October, 1992, while Kleber was away in “Lee’s Rangers,” Anna’s two sisters, Lavinia – Ethel’s grandmother – and Myra Ann, were living with Anna when the soldiers came through in 1864. These trucks may have belonged to them. This would have been an especially trying time for Anna as her first child, Lucy Edmonia Edwards, had died three weeks earlier. Her second child, Mary Gertrude Edwards, was born, if the entries in the Corr family Bible are accurate, the same day. The second was Oak Dale (sometimes Oakdale), the home of Caroline’s son, Dr. Junius. As Caroline quickly writes a vivid description of the raid, the house entered could have been her son’s. But unless Junius and wife Mag had house guests, certainly a possibility, there were no girls living there. Finally there is the property known in the tax records as “King Wm. C.H.,” 440 acres owned by Patrick Henry (P.H.) Slaughter, a large land holder with multiple properties. There was certainly the tavern adjacent to the courthouse, as well as a store he operated. There may have been a residence as well. You KW Courthouse experts out there, chime in.  (back)