Saturday, 31 December, 1864

Commenced snowing early this morning and snowed till dinner. Ju rode up home to return tomorrow for Mag and the children, who have been over since Sunday. Gave him some cold turkey and pig to carry with him, but he soon returned. Said everything was too quiet there to remain and will stay here till morning. The girls and young men left before dinner and Bake with them, to meet us at Church tomorrow, if nothing prevents my going. – – I’ve been busy in the dining room arranging my things in the safes and other places. – – Sold Sarah ½ gallon molasses for eleven dollars today. – – They all enjoyed themselves dancing till time to go. Bought an ox yoke of Uncle Billy Segar. Gave him $20 for it on Thursday.

Friday, 30 December, 1864

Quite a pretty morning, but clouded up afterwards and falling weather is threatened again, though it has turned much colder. Dr. Ju came down quite early. – – Bill had some sorghum stalks hauled and mended the road at the meadow gate. It is almost impassible, there has been so much rain. – – Hardin’s family came about eleven, Larkin’s family, Camm and Johnny, his family were unwell, some of them, Bev and Jimmie. Martha Ann had company and couldn’t come. Lee Lipscomb and her mother.1 – – George Tebbs couldn’t get a conveyance to bring Maria.2 Mrs. Hill’s carriage brought Hal, Miss Pussy Crump, Miss Almira Hill and Miss Bell Boykin.3 Lieut. Cattell and Gus Hill accompanied them.4 Claiborne Hill, Billy D. Pollard, Mr. Powell all dined and remained till after supper.5 Those from Mrs. Hill’s remained all night. – – Danced and enjoyed themselves very much. Retired about 1 or 2 o’clk. – – Had an elegant pig for dinner, roasted by Parky in the office.6 Patsy cooked dinner.

  1. Lee Lipscomb first appears 18 August. Later she is one of “the girls” at Zion. If this Lee is a daughter of Sterling Lipscomb, then her mother’s name was Angelina [Ellett] Lipscomb, Caroline’s second cousin, once removed.  (back)
  2. Maria Tebbs was the youngest daughter of the late Dr. R. H. Tebbs. George Tebbs was her oldest brother. He likely worked for P.H. Slaughter at the Courthouse store.  (back)
  3. We met Hal Brumley back on 15 July. She was living with Mrs. Harriet Hill, her grandmother. Crump is a name more common in New Kent County. I have been unable to identify Miss Pussy. Almira Hill, about 14, was Augustine (Gus) Hill’s sister. And Bell Boykin, “Miss Bill” in the transcript, we also met on 15 July. Her full name was Mildred Isabella Boykin; she was about 11 in the winter of ’64.  (back)
  4. Henry Bradley Catlett, 25, of was a Lieutenant in variously organized cavalry companies during the war. While in 1860 he was a store clerk in Baltimore, he was born in Gloucester County, Virginia. He will visit again, as will Gus Hill, who by this time needs no introduction.  (back)
  5. We introduced Claiborne Hill back on 6 July when Zac was shopping for a horse. Deputy Clerk William D. “Billy” Pollard we met on 11 October over biscuits and molasses. Mr. Powell is certainly Elijah L. Powell who gave the Littlepages a fright on 13 June.  (back)
  6. This reference to an office indicates an additional outbuilding besides the kitchen. Perhaps it was attached to the kitchen.  (back)

Thursday, 29 December, 1864

The weather is somewhat cooler today, since the rain last night. snowed some, several times, but did not lay on the ground. – – The children received an invitation from their Uncle Hardin by Henry to spend the evening at his house.1 They accepted it and as the horses are all lame and looking badly, they went in the wagon, drawn by their mules. – – Mag, Bake, Pigeo, Nan, Bill and Hardie. Bartlett drove. All started at sunset. – – Made mince pies. Had a fine pig killed this evening, a turkey, and two ducks picked, and an elegant round of beef boiled today. – – Sent a certificate from Ju to the chief of Bureau of Orders and Detail recommending an extension of Hardie’s furlough for 20 days longer. Sent the letter by Washington. How my heart sickens at the idea of a separation from my children. They are all I could desire them to be, except being Christians, and I only trust that ere long, and very soon, they may see the error of their ways and become professed disciples, humble followers of the “Meek and lowly Jesus” for all here is vanity and vexation of spirit. The fleeting things of time are passing away as shadows and what is left? An empty void! A black eternity begins and where is the worldly hope? They have none, their days are spent, the night is come, and they are lost. O, will they not be wise and use the means the Lord has given, acknowledge him and secure eternal an life, immortal bliss, unfading joy, which the world can neither give or take away.

  1. Henry in this entry seems to be an Aspen Grove slave. Later references in the Journal make this less certain. More research may yield a clearer understanding.  (back)

Wednesday, 28 December, 1864

A very disagreeable day. I am suffering with headache and severe cold, am sick enough to be in bed, but persuaded myself it’s best to keep up if possible. – – Went to the kitchen and instructed Bartlett the best I know how to fix up the rack that has fallen down. – – Bake and the children are busy fixing the evergreens in the parlor. Finished at last, I believe, this evening. Pigeo has been on horseback several times with the little servants to get running cedar. – – Made Jumbles this evening, though I am feeling very badly.

Tuesday, December 27, 1864

Quite a dismal looking day. Cleared up a little about 1 o’clk. and Ju and Meg, children and servant came to dinner. Bill and Hardie went by invitation to Mr. Robert Hill’s, and with an invitation to return to Mr. Hill’s in the evening.1 Beverly sent an invitation by Iverson for Bake also. – – She and the children are finishing off the parlors. Ju moved his Pa’s portrait and mine in the back parlor. – – Dellah and Corbin Braxton were married tonight in the dining room. Dr. Ju officiated as parson. Had quite a large company.2 Took supper in the kitchen. Beck came down this morning. Is anxious to know whether I am going to take her home another year. I promised to do so.

  1. This is likely the Robert A. Hill mentioned on 27 September. He was the father of Augustine Browne (Gus) Hill who frequently appears in these pages.  (back)
  2. Here is documentation of the wedding of two slaves, Corbin Braxton and Dellah in 1864. Anyone with knowledge of any of their descendants please contact me. Caroline will hereafter spell his name Corban.  (back)

Monday, 26 December, 1864

A dismal looking day. Bill went out ducking before breakfast. Killed none. He and Hardie went up in the buggy to Court. Hardie went from there to Uncle Butler’s for a gallon of brandy.1 Had the misfortune to get the carboy broke and lose most of it. Returned and had a gallon more put into a borrowed jug. Reached home to supper. – – Made ginger cakes this evening and seasoned mince meat for pies. Bake, Pigeo and Nan decorated the parlor with evergreens beautifully. – – We were all right much alarmed by fire tonight. A piece of Martha’s carelessness. – – Bill did not return with Hardie. Went with Beverly home and staid all night. Invited company to dine here on Friday.

  1. Isaac Butler Edwards of nearby Forest Villa is mentioned in Clarke’s Old King William Homes and Families as “having an extensive distillery for making peach and apple brandy.” Caroline’s sister Rose’s husband, “Hill” King was the brother of Mildred King, Butler Edwards’ wife. Circumstantial evidence? Yes. But it is probably as close as we will come to finding out who this Uncle Butler was.  (back)

Sunday, 25 December, 1864

A pretty day, but not much like Xmas. We all attended Church and returned to dinner. Patsy had an old fashioned potpie for dinner today. All enjoyed it very much. Bill and Hardie went in the buggy and drove Duroc. We made it late getting to Church today.

Saturday, 24 December, 1864

We awoke and found it raining this morning, but soon cleared up. Mr. Henley returned the corn I loaned him last summer, 13 ½  bushels. The boy stole Washington’s pants and I let him get a boat and go over the river for them. He soon returned with the pants. – – I made some beautiful jelly today, and a pound cake this evening. – – Bake and Hardie spent the evening at the Hill’s. – – Bill returned from Richmond about ten o’clk. – – Mary sent Pigeo the black muslin dress presented to her by Bill when he returned from Baltimore. I presented it to her as I did not intend she should put on mourning at the time. – – Luce sent me two bags apples and one to Hardin. Bill treated himself to a splendid suit of clothes and a pair of shoes, also had his hat dyed. Brought Pigeo and myself a letter from Mary. – – Mrs. Lipscomb and Bettie came this morning.1 – – Pigeo and Nan, with Bettie, went after running cedar. We all took dinner in the chamber. – – Bake and Hardie returned late, having spent a pleasant evening.

  1. A Judy Lipscomb, about 54 in 1864, had a daughter Elizabeth who would have been about 25. They may have lived adjacent to Camm Garrett. Or this might be the Bettie Lipscomb who visited Woodbury on 21 July with Mrs. Crow. As Caroline does not write Bettie’s surname, she might be a slave. There is a Woodbury slave named Bettie who first appeared 6 June. So many Lipscombs, so many Betties, so little time.  (back)

Friday, 23 December, 1864

Quite a pretty day, though a little windy. Pigeo rode on horseback to Dr. Lewis’ and took Bettie along with her. Gus Hill accompanied her and returned home from the C.H. on his return there from the Dr’s. – – Logan Turner came to dinner. Brought the material for Bake to make a head dress for Alice. He left about sunset. – – I’ve been busy basting on a piece of Huck Cloth on the bottom of Nannie’s cloak. – – Bake’s stitching a pair of gloves for Hardie. He went up for the mail. Brought a letter from Deucalion Gregory to Pigeo, and also one from Mary Robinson.1 Hardie went to an eggnog at Larkin’s tonight. We sat up till he returned.

  1. Deucalion Gregory, about 17, later Dr. Deucalion Gregory, was the son of Roger and Maria [Ellett] Gregory, thus one of Caroline’s 1st cousins. He would later purchase and live at Woodbury. This Mary Robinson remains unidentified. She may be the same as the Miss Robinson mentioned on 21 August.  (back)

Thursday, 22 December, 1864

A cold, blustering, disagreeable day. Bake was anxious to attend Joe’s marriage and as neither of her brothers could go with her, and she would not go alone, I rode down in the carriage with her. After the ceremony was over and Joe and her consort had left for Gloucester.1 Bake, Nan and myself called to see Mrs. Hill. Sat an hour or two, and returned to dinner. – – Bill left for Richmond soon after I started. Fixed up a bundle to send Mary. Sent the dress Hardie brought her and some cinnamon and nutmeg, some things Rose left here and a pair of shoes Hardie bought Luce. – – Gave Bill $60 to get new issue for.2 – – Gus Hill came this evening to spend the night. – – Cut out another pair of alpaca sleeves for my dress. Gave the pair Bake made to Nan for her cottage waist.3 They were too short for me. – – Parky ironed today. – – Bettie, Tom and Frank went after persimmons for beer.

  1. Josephine (Joe) Lewis, married Lieut. J. C. Baytops of Gloucester County.  (back)
  2. This was a period of rapid inflation of currency. Caroline seems to be trading one form of script for another.  (back)
  3. “cottage waist?”  (back)

Wednesday, 21 December, 1864

A cold, rainy, disagreeable day till about noon. Hardie felt well enough this evening to have an hour or two play and fun with Liv and Mack, running and exercising.1 – – Bartlett burnt the chimneys.2 Let Frederick have the day to shoemake for himself. – – The hands are getting wood for Xmas.

  1. Leo and Mack are family dogs.  (back)
  2. Anyone have an idea what Bartlett was doing?  (back)

Tuesday, 20 December, 1864

I awake before day every morning and write in my journal. Hardie very often gets up and sits with me and chats a while before Bill comes down, which he sometimes does also before going out. I feel as if I am so much blessed, do I deserve such mercies? I know that I do not, but it is the goodness and love of my heavenly Father, O, can I thank him as I ought to do. I feel at times as if the gratitude of my heart knows no bounds. I enjoy the present with thanks of gratitude and love, yet fearing that dark future which may await us. The prospect at present is gloomy in the extreme, and admits of doubt and despondency, but I will hope on trusting in the arm of the Lord is not shortened that he cannot save those who put their trust in him. – – The children all seem so happy and united in the society of each other that I cannot help feeling happy myself. We only desire the two absent ones to be with us if it is the Lord’s will, my poor prisoner Child, and my school boy “warrior.” – – Bill went up for the mail today and brought Bake a note from Livinia Lewis requesting her presence in company with her brothers on Thursday morning 9 o’clk. to take leave of Joe, who is about to be married, I imagine.1 – – Hardie’s arm improves slowly. – – Parky washed today. – – Had a barrel molasses boil over. Wound up with a big molasses stew. The children picked out walnut kernels for it while it was stewing and had a great deal of fun pulling it.

  1. Livinia Claiborne Lewis, about 24, is the daughter of the late Dr. John S. Lewis and wife Octavia [Hill] Lewis. Caroline spells her name both Livinia and Lavinia. Also found in other records is Lavina Lewis. For clarity, as I can find no definitive spelling, we will use Livinia. The Lewises lived at Montrose (Mount Rose) near Jerusalem Church. All are shown in the 1860 KW U.S. Census along with sister Josephine (Joe), a year older. This is not the Dr. John L. Lewis family where Caroline has sent her daughters to school.  (back)

Monday, 19 December, 1864

The weather still moderate. Washington came in early this morning and handed me a letter to Pigeo from Zac, 12 pages, a very interesting one. Finished getting the corn all in the house today, and the hands went about repairing some fence blown down last Sunday night. – – Hardie’s arm continues about the same, very much swollen. Ju bandaged it up in wet clothes Saturday and has kept them on ever since, wetting them frequently during the day. The swelling has extended below the elbow. He has had nothing of rheumatism since the accident occurred on Friday. Parky is finishing off some clothes for the little chaps today. – – Nan is suffering very much from cold. Had her feet put in hot water and gave her pepper tea tonight and put a plaster of mutton suet on her chest. I altered and repaired some shirts for Hardie today, after fixing Dellah’s cloth, which she had gotten in right bad order. – – We took supper in the chamber tonight, ash cake and roast potatoes, buttermilk and sweet.

Sunday, 18 December, 1864

Rather an inclement morning. Col. and Jimmie left about ½ past ten. Pigeo, Nan and myself attended Zion. Came by Ju’s home to dinner. Met with Will there, who promised to come down this evening. Ju came with him about 4 o’clk. and sat until ten or eleven. – – Received a note from Mr. Slaughter in regard to his servant Braxton, who wishes to take a wife at Woodbury. Frederick escorted him in to ask for Dellah. I proposed that he should wait till the war was over, but he was so thunder struck after a little while I gave my consent. I merely did it to try him.1

  1. One would like to think Caroline was testing Braxton’s resolve towards marriage. If so, he passed her test.  (back)

Saturday, 17 December, 1864

Quite a pretty morning, except being a little cloudy. Expected the children back to breakfast, but they did not come till about 11 or 12, and as Miss Annie intends breaking up school next Tuesday, Bake concluded to bring Pigeo home. Brought both trunks in the carriage bandbox and all of her things, except a few she will send for. Ju and Mr. C. Garrett came to spend the day. Also Col. McLaughlin and Jimmie Spiller. All seemed to enjoy the day very much, had fine music. – – I settled with Camm for Nan’s tuition, and took in his acct. for Rose’s tuition also. Had find wild ducks for dinner and tomatoes as fresh and nice as if they were just gathered off the vines. – – Ju and Camm left about sunset. The Col. and Jimmie remained all night. – – I was much grieved to hear of the death of poor little Dick, reason being frost bitten.1 – – Parky stitched up a pair of pants for Bartlett today. He was complaining of sore throat yesterday, but was well enough to ride a mule and look for Bev’s horse that broke away last night.

  1. “poor little Dick” sounds like a slave. But we we have no record of a Woodbury slave by that name. Perhaps he lived on either the Spiller or Garrett properties. King William’s Registers of Death are missing between 1863 and 1869.  (back)

Friday, 16 December, 1864

The weather is moderate for the season. – – Hardie made a throw at one of the cows, running this morning, and hurt his arm very much. So much so, that he had to carry it in a sling. Of course, it knocked his expected visit in the head. Bake and Nan started about 4 o’clk. in the carriage, Washington to drive. Bill rode a mule up for the mail. Returned after we had supped, in company with Beverly Littlepage, to spend the night.1 Brought me a long letter from Mary, six pages long. I read it in dining room while supper was preparing for Bill and Bev. John Hill came with a note for Bev from his Mother respecting Jimmie’s arrest, after they had retired.2 He should have attended to it at once, but did not. Was too sleepy.

  1. Beverly Arnott Littlepage, 24, was a son of the late Col. Edmund and Martha Ann [Hilliard] Littlepage of “Retreat.” Although Hillyard was a common family name in King William, Hilliards were also to be found.  (back)
  2. Bev Littlepage had a brother two years older, James Isaac Littlepage. This might be our Jimmy. J. I. Littlepage, merchant, appears in Lieut. Haw’s conscript book as enrolled as a conscript 8 July 1864. If, like Bill, he was ordered to report to Camp Lee in Richmond and didn’t, that might account for an arrest.  (back)

Thursday, 15 December, 1864

Quite a pretty day, the weather somewhat moderated. Cornelia Hill and Newland came about eleven.1 Bill and Hardie had gone out ducking, were out all day. Got in just as they were starting home. Only killed two ducks. – – Bake is rather more lively today. Hope she will be well enough to attend the “Tableau” at Dr. Lewis’ tomorrow evening. I know they will all be very much disappointed if Nan, herself and Hardie are not there. Made my alpaca skirt today. – – Had a mound of turnips put in the pantry by Addison and Scott. – – Had my last souse boiled today.

  1. Newland is likely Newland J. Powell, about 17, who lived nearby with his parents Elijah L. and Amanda [Robins] Powell. The Powells appear frequently in the journal.  (back)

Wednesday, 14 December, 1864

The weather moderate. Bake’s less complaining today, but not well enough to comply with her promise to call on Gene Hilyard this evening.1 The girls from Dr. Lewis were to meet Hardie and herself there this evening, and from there they were to call on Alice Hill and Cousin Betsy, and from there to Dr. Lewis’ to a candy stew and “Tableau.” – – Bartlett carried a barrel more of corn and brought the 2 barrels meal and 12 bushels wheat in flour from Mr. Robins’ Mill. Came sometime after dark. Had the corn ground he carried today also. – – Jim’s hauling corn with all four steers and the new tongue and a yoke Uncle Billy loaned me. Bill’s out quite late shucking corn tonight. All of us enjoyed a social cup of coffee in the chamber tonight after I arose from a nap. Had another lounge moved in my chamber today. Hardie sleeps on one and I on the other. He has to get up frequently and lay before the fire and be rubbed with Spt.’s Turpentine. – – Gave him 60 drops for a dose tonight.2 Bake wrote to Mary tonight. – – Bill and Hardie went out ducking this evening, only killed one duck. – – Parky ironed today. Bettie has been gathering corn.

  1. I have been unable to determine which Hillyard this is. As young ladies would not be calling on young men, we probably should be looking for a Eugenia or Eugenie Hillyard.  (back)
  2. From the paper “Medicinal and Useful Plants and Trees of the Confederate States–Indigenous and Introduced,” prepared under the direction of the Surgeon General. “The spirits of turpentine is a well-known and valuable diffusible stimulant, diuretic, and anthelmintic, in large doses acting as a laxative.” “Turpentine is now one of the most universally employed of remedial agents; it is quite surprising to how great a diversity of conditions it is applicable; all these depend naturally, however, upon its natural properties. See Trousseau’s “Therapeutique,” Stillé’s Mat. Med., and recent authors. As an external rubefacient, a stimulant, an astringent, a stimulating diuretic and laxative, it admits of frequent application. In the arts, also, and as a material in the manufacture of soap, as a resin, and for the production of light, it is equally worthy of attention. To burn turpentine in lamps it only requires purification by redistillation, and a burner which will give increased oxygen for the consumption of the large amount of carbon which it contains. The fumes of turpentine inhaled will cause irritability of the kidney if breathed. I have been called to attend several negroes with dysuria and bloody urine from sleeping aboard a boat laden with resin and turpentine in defective barrels. “Turpentine is one of the best means of chasing away fleas whether from place or animal, and a bed of very fine shavings of some wood which abounds in turpentine is one of the easiest and most effectual means of banishing them from dogs.” Wilson’s Rural Cyc. See, also, “Juglans.” See “Kyan,” Rural Cyc., for preservation of timber; also Boussingault’s Rural Econ. and Agricult. Chemistry. Wilson states that the oil of turpentine is almost a specific for spasm in the bowels of the horse.” For more information see WebMD or this 1863 publication.  (back)

Tuesday, 13 December, 1864

A very pretty day. Parky washed. – – Hardie rode Shakespeare up for the mail and brought a letter from Zac. Requested me to send him a pair of pants. – – I heard from Bill. St. Coalter said he had been exempted, and thought he was at home.1 He returned tonight. Staid in Richmond to have a suit of clothes fitted. Went to Mary’s. Had her pork cut out, &c. – – Bake went to bed this evening really sick with severe nervous headache. Hardie recommended Scotch Whiskey grog. I gave her two doses. It vomited her, but did not relieve her much. I sent Jim to Mr. Powell’s last night to request him to send Uncle Billy Segar in his place to make an oxcart tongue.2 He has done so. Jim broke his cart tongue last Friday while it was snowing, making his second load of wood. – – Loaned Mrs. George my harness loom.

  1. For those of you who have not read his biography, Bill was probably exempted because of a gun accident that occurred when he was younger. Three fingers were cut off on his left hand. Caroline also writes St. George Coalter’s name without the George nor the “a.” Perhaps they called him “Saint.”  (back)
  2. From the terms and construction of the sentence it would appear that Uncle Billy Segar was a slave. But I have been unable to find him in the post civil war records. There were, however, white Segar families in the vicinity, though not in King William. Uncle Billy remains at large.  (back)

Monday, 12 December, 1864

Intensely cold this day. Had the hogs, six in number, cut out in the pantry this morning by Frederick and Bartlett. – – Gave Bartlett his breakfast and directions to have the carriage at the door to take the girls to Dr. Lewis,’ Miss Annie, Miss Winston, Miss Lewis and Pigeo. Gave Miss Annie a box of Rose pins Hardie brought and promised her ½ bushel potatoes to carry her Mother.1 Sent Mrs. Lewis some spare ribs and chine. Gave Pigeo paper and envelopes, also gave her stamp to send Zac in a letter. – – The children are invited to a molasses stew at the Dr.’s next Friday evening. – – After they all left I went in the kitchen and has sausage chopped and lard tied up, &c. Hardie assisted me in having it salted by Frederick. Salted the midlings, hams, and shoulders of Bartlett and Washington’s hogs with mine. – – Bake is altering her bombazine dress. She is complaining of feeling badly.

  1. We now know Miss Fletcher, when not teaching at the Lewis,’ lives with her mother.  (back)

Sunday, 11 December, 1864

Quite an inclement day, all remained at home except myself. I rode to Zion and Hardie accompanied me in the carriage. Bake superintended dinner. We called by Ju’s and sat an hour or two. – – All sat in my chamber and sang before retiring. – – The wind blew a perfect hurricane tonight and turned so cold. Killed several geraniums in the chamber. I was so sorry. I certainly expected to hear from Bill today, but no intelligence at all.

Saturday, 10th December, 1864

Found it snowing and raining this morning. Notwithstanding, Dr. and Mrs. Lewis and Miss came to dinner. I was very much pleased to see them. They have made so many attempts to get here and have been disappointed every time. They left about 5, Miss Annie remained. The Dr. participated with them in a dance. Mrs. Lewis played. The girls all sat up quite late and enjoyed themselves very much.

Friday, 9 December, 1864

Fine weather for killing hogs. Finished about eleven, six for myself and four the servants. I attended to the operation in the kitchen while Bake had the carpet, curtains, &c fixed in the house, curtains and carpets in host’s parlors and chambers. – – Sent Bartlett ½ past three o’clk. for Pigeo and the girls. They arrived ½ past seven, Miss Lewis, Miss Winston and Pigeo. Was disappointed in Miss Annie not coming. She will come with Mrs. Lewis and the Dr. tomorrow. – – Patsy got dinner today and attended to the servants’ lard this evening. – – The girls all slept in Mary’s room together, and I slept alone. Hardie has slept on the lounge in my chamber ever since he came home. – – Commenced snowing this evening, and continued some time, then turned to rain and hail. – – Hardie rode up for the mail. Bake received a letter from Mary on the subject of Hardie’s presents. – – Had the hogs laid in the store room till Monday.

Thursday, 8 December, 1864

The weather still fine. – – Nan rode to the school house for a pair of gloves Rose left there. Kept on to Mrs. Bill Lipscomb’s for sewing patterns for Bake. – – Hardie went out to kill some of the old hams that root in my garden, or rather resort to it.1 After an early dinner, he and Bake rode on horseback to Dr. Lewis to see Pigeo. Carried her some presents Hardie brought her from Europe. They returned after ten. Said Miss Annie and the girls would come with her home tomorrow, and that Mrs. L. and the Doctor would dine with me on Saturday.2 – – And as we intend killing the rest of our hogs, ten in number, I would greatly have preferred their coming next Friday. Made preparations for killing hogs tonight, but the wind blew so hard the servants could not proceed, till about day. – – Garland’s pointers missing too.

  1. I have never heard of referring to living hogs as “old hams” before.  (back)
  2. Do we now have a first name for our Miss Fletcher? I believe we do.  (back)

Wednesday, 7 December, 1864

This has been quite a fluctuating day, showery and warm. Bill went before breakfast to have the shoats gotten in a pen. Succeeded in doing so, and marked them all, 30 of the prettiest things I most ever saw. He came to the house and would insist on my going there to see them. I gave directions about preparing him something to carry to Richmond. He has to go over with his Guard to report at Camp Lee.1 O, I do hope they may let him off. I hardly know what I should do without him. Made every preparation and started between 4 & 5 o’clk. Rode a mule. Carried one suit besides the one he wore, 3 pair socks, 2 pr. drawers, 3 shirts. Wore the splendid pair of English shoes Hardie gave him. I was sad at seeing him start, but in a short time, Hardie arrived from his Uncle Hardin’s. The evening was so inclement, I sent the carriage for him. Bake went to accompany him back home. Couldn’t possibly spare him any longer. He had another severe attack of rheumatism tonight. Had it at Hardin’s last night. I think it is owing to some unprecedence while sick on the “Old Dominion.” I tried several things for it. Ju gave him some medicine also. Nothing relieved though till I had a bed placed right down before the fire, and after a long time he was partially relieved. I am uneasy about him. He reminds me so much of his Pa, I feel sad to look at him. – – Bartlett carried 10 bushels corn and 12 bushels wheat to Mr. Robins’ Mill. He returned without meal or flour.

  1. Camp Lee was located west of Richmond, north of Broad Street at the present location of the area behind the Science Museum of Virginia (formerly Union Station). It was also known as Camp of Instruction and was used as a training camp in the early part of the war. The area had been previously known as the New Fairgrounds, Central Fairgrounds, and Hermitage Fairgrounds. It consisted of several barracks-type buildings used for garrison and hospital purposes later in the war. For further information see http://www.mdgorman.com/Hospitals/camp_lee.htm. It should not be confused with the R.E. Lee Camp, No. 1 Confederate Veterans, a.k.a. the Confederate Soldiers Home, established years later at Boulevard and Grove Ave. The home operated until the last soldier there died in 1942. The site is now the home of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. See http://vmfa.museum/about/grounds-history/.  (back)

Tuesday, 6 December, 1864

A most charming day. The birds are singing like the spring of the year. Bill and Hardie walked to the C.H. for the mail. The latter will go on to his Uncle Harden’s to spend a night with him. Bill is extremely busy. Has to report to camp Lee on Thursday, and there is some probability of his going to the front, but I do sincerely hope not. I shall miss him so much at home. He returned to dinner. Tried to have some shoats gotten up this evening. They have become quite wild. – – Had souse fixed up this evening. Bake and Nan assisted me in cutting it up for mounds, made two very nice ones. – – Dellah starched and ironed some things for Bill to go to Richmond tomorrow evening. Poor fellow, I am so sorry. We received several letters from Zac recently. Bake has written to him. I want to send him $50 or $100 by the first safe opportunity.

Monday, 5 December, 1864

Very beautiful weather. Had the turnips put away today. A great fall short in the crop, had only 4 pounds. Hardie fixed up his gun and he and Bill went out ducking, but killed nothing. Came back and took a snack and started out hunting partridges. – – Bake assisted me in the dining room about casing sausages, &c. – – Had Hardie’s clothes washed by Parky today. He has not had washing done for three months and I think he might go six months longer and not get through his wardrobe, for I believe he has from 20 to 25 doz. pieces of some articles.

Sunday, 4 December, 1864

A beautiful day again. Rose left with her father this morning. We were all sorry to part with her. She is an affectionate sweet child, and had learned to obey me promptly. I sent Mary some butter, sausage, spare ribs and “chine,” &c. Hardin made presents of shoes to Mary, Garland, Rose, Luce and Mollie, a piece of calico, do, gingham, 1 lb. tea, sweet soap, &c, &c.1 After they were off, we got ready for Church. Bake, Nan, Hardie and I went in the carriage. Met Bill returning home just inside the outer gate. Gave him the house key. – – We all returned by Ju’s to dinner, and home to supper. Hardie’s old acquaintances were pleased to meet with his Uncle Hardin. Set a day for him to visit them, he promised to go next Tuesday.

  1. The “do” indicates Hardie gave a piece of calico to Mary, Garland, Rose, Luce and Mollie, as he did shoes.  (back)