A very beautiful day. Horace walked down after breakfast and spent the day. Bake made herself a bonnet. Pigeo made herself a nice riding skirt, intends riding on horse-back to Dr. Lewis’ this evening. – – Nannie is employing herself reading. Horace most of the time in the yard playing with Stuart. Patsy in the chamber spinning. Martha lathered cotton, had it boiled in the chamber. I washed some little things and Nan ironed them. Ju sent Chasteen down about 12 with a note informing me that Richmond had fallen! Surrendered 6 o’clk. this morning. Lee defeated and gone south. Is it a dream? or are my senses buried in oblivion? Can I realize what I say, or what is the matter with me? Have I gone crazy or what? Surely these things cannot be so. – – Bill came in after dinner, having heard the news from some persons from Richmond. Got something to eat and walked to the C. H. and returned to supper. News confirmed. Took supper and rode back to the C. H. to ascertain further particulars from wounded soldiers and persons leaving the burning city, Richmond has fallen! Woes succeed to woes. O Mary where are you now? O, my children where are you all? Zac, Hardie, Liv. O, I am so wretched. My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken us? – – Bill returned at 12. Just about that time the bird sung and the roosters crowed. We were sitting waiting for him and hoped it was a token of good news, but none came. We have no alternative on earth. He retired being overcome from loss of sleep. – – Dear child, how we shall all miss him when he is gone. I can’t reflect on our condition. It would be madness. Am I cut off from my children? O our God undertakes our faults for us. We are in a shail, hedged in on every side.1 O, our Father, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us reconciled, and if it be thy will, grant that we may be relieved of these sad afflictions. Make us a way of escape. Thou only art able. In thee we put our trust, on thee we rest our hopes.
- SHAIL, v.t. To walk sidewise. [Low and not in use.] From American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828. (back)