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)