Saturday, 18 March, 1865

Thank God, we have been spared through the night and have only suffered from suspense and anxiety, i.e., we have not been molested by our enemies since dark. I have been quite sick nearly all night from long fasting and encountering so much. I was unequal to the task and had to give up and go to bed. Bake and the children sat up, or rather reclined, and dozed, overcome entirely. Dellah brought her baby and cradle in and Beck, Washington, Addison, Scott, besides the regular that sleep in the house, came in for protection. I was glad to see that they manifested such feelings. Patsy baked some ashcakes and sent in, but though all were hungry, no one could eat, she baked them out of her own meal, for the Yankees had taken all of mine that they could find. – – About ten o’clk. I walked to the barn to see how things were. Kept on to the quarters and found a few hungry individuals and sent back to the house for a plate of breakfast I put up this morning and delivered it to them. Met Washington on my return, who informed me that he had brought my two yoke of oxen back. It certainly rejoiced my heart. It was the only thing I had shed tears about. – – I gave the servants permission to go up and share in the spoil after the Yankees left, which was about 12 I think. They fired the woods in different directions. It presents an awful appearance. – – We hunted about till we found some little to satisfy the hungry ones. The children would pick up a herring here and there, and I found a beef shin left in one of the barrels and had some soup made for dinner. The boys came in a little before sunset and got something to eat. Two soldiers came by who had been hidden in the woods several days and I gave them something to eat of the scanty remains. It is painful to anyone just to walk in my store room, pantry and pantry closet to see how depraved human beings can be. I told the Yankees to help themselves to what they wanted to eat and not destroy what they did not want. They said they would not, but machine cotton, wheat chaff, molasses, broken carboys of vinegar and everything in one mess. I shall never be done finding out what I have lost. I found imported mustard of Hardie’s from England and they have found all my sperin and adament candles, but I will try and not grieve about it.1

  1. Suggestions about the meaning of the words “sperin” and “adamant” cheerfully accepted.  (back)