Thursday, 30 November, 1865

A tolerably good day today. – – Hardie went with Zac up the river as he went to mill. They returned to late dinner. – – Martha got breakfast and Patsy dinner. – – Nan darned stockings. – – I require her to practice an hour every day and more if she is inclined to do so. Next Monday she will commence reading “Josephers” (Josephus) and to improve her handwriting, &c.1 Will commence a composition book. The rest of her time she shall employ usefully, and have as much recreation as she needs. Promised her a ride on Shakespeare every evening if she is diligent and industrious. Bill finished beating out peas and the few beans we made, and had a load of wood brought to boil molasses tomorrow. Intends grinding cane if nothing prevents.

  1. We do not know which of the five books by Josephus is being used as a text for the Littlepage children. I am guessing they chose the autobiography rather than his Jewish histories.  (back)

Wednesday, 29 November, 1865

To my mortification, found it raining this morning and Hardie has not returned, and when Bill came down just at day, the ground was covered with snow, the first we have had this fall. We have had a very mild fall so far. Though the day is so bad, I can’t help looking for Hardie. – – I have been busy today about a chemise for Nan, and she darning socks for the boys. – – Bill’s having peas beaten out at the barn. He retired quite early, about eight. Hardie arrived, traveled through a very inclement day. Brought me a letter from Bake she wrote from Savannah. Just reached him and is very much pleased with her new home. Hardie brought bad accounts from Uncle Bartlett’s family. He is dead, and they are suffering for necessaries of life. – – He wrote to Mr. Goss to meet them at Cobham Depot, but the day being too inclement for Pigeo to turn out, he came home after engaging Liv to take her to school.1 Gave Liv $20, or the 25 I gave him, to pay expenses and to bring me the remainder. Also gave him $35 in silver for Mr. Goss. – – Collected the corn money at Mr. Davis at last. He refused to pay interest. Liv retained $10 of that and Hardie spent 3 ¾. – – Fixed my souse today. Made two very pretty moulds. Patsy’s sick, Martha got dinner.

  1. Cobham is today an unincorporated community in Albemarle County on Virginia Route 22. It is about 7 miles from Gordonsville. The train still runs through it.  (back)

Tuesday, 28 November, 1865

A most beautiful day. – – I sent a chain of coarse cloth by Martha to Miss Attilla George to weave, 36 or 38 yards, I don’t remember which.1 Sent 7 pounds white filling, sloie and harness. – – She can’t weave it till after Xmas. – – Bill’s repairing my table that was accidentally burned last winter. He is industrious and always employed about something.2 Nannie has trimmed her hat very pretty for winter. – – She promises to be right industrious, I think. Since Pigeo has left, she works, practices and studies alternately. Is fond of reading, particularly novels, which I consider very injurious to children. I must watch more closely over her in her secluded hours. – – Somehow or other I judge of the character of person by the books they read. I don’t know whether I am right or wrong. – – I came to the conclusion this evening that it would be best to haul and put away the balance of the corn in the shucks, as it is so near Xmas, and the weather may be bad and we have no wood. – – Uncle Obie’s daughter came up from Sandy Point this evening to see me respecting the old man. I went to the meat house and fish house and gave her just as much of meat, fish, meal and flour as she could carry for him, and told her whenever he was in want of such things, I would always give them as long as I had them, for which she was very thankful. Said he had never cost the Col. a mouthful since he had been there, still he was unwilling that he should remain with his family, where I think he ought to be. – – Well I have looked for Hardie today with some degree of certainty of his return, but in vain. The weather has been so pretty, he ought to have taken advantage of it. I hope nothing has happened to them. He certainly ought to have made that in this time and I shall be uneasy till he returns.

  1. Attilla George, about 24, is the daughter of Tarpley and Sarah [Wilder] George of nearby Cherry Hill.  (back)
  2. At this point Caroline marks through eight complete lines. The ink is much darker suggesting it was done later.  (back)

Monday, 27 November, 1865

We are having most beautiful weather now. Never saw prettier for gathering corn. – – Bill and Zac went to Court. The mill was put up and not a bid made for it. Ju sent me word Mr. Downer would be down and look at it in a few days and come and see me in relation to it.1 – – Had a mound of potatoes taken up and carried to the store room and put up in chaff for safe keeping. They are keeping beautifully, but I can’t bear the idea of having them stolen. They have certainly gotten their share.

  1. Perhaps William T. Downer, M.D., about 45. He lived in upper King William.  (back)

Sunday, 26 November, 1865

A lovely day, and I am debarred the pleasure of going to church on account of not having the carriage harness. Hardie had to use it to carry Pigeo to school. Zac was the only one who attended Zion. He dined at Ju’s. I sent a note by him to Ju instructing him what limit to put upon the mill when it is sold. It will be put up and offered for sale tomorrow. Ju sent me some nice oysters this morning by James. He is very thoughtful and kind. Bill remained at home all day, only walked to look at the wheat. Thinks some of it too thin.

Saturday, 25 November, 1865

This has been a lovely day. I’ve spent most of it in the kitchen about my lard. Nan has been in bed most of the day taking quinine. Is much better than she was yesterday. – – Had the potatoes brought in out of the mound that was robbed the other night. They only left 7 hampers full. I think it’s very doubtful whether they will keep after being exposed as they have been. Had Shakespeare brought in the yard this evening. His feet are very much swollen. I went out after dark and walked about the yard. The moon shone beautifully, and the weather is so mild. Saw Dandridge at the kitchen door, who said he wanted money to buy Martha a pair of shoes. I gave him three dollars and gave Martha permission to go with him to meeting. The night is so beautiful. Made her come in the dining room and season a small quantity of sausage meat before she started. Sent some of it and some milk to the quarters for them all to get their suppers before they start. Had my fowls caught and put in the henhouse. Good many of them roost out. – – Everything is so quiet now. Pigeo and Hardie are gone and Bill and Zac are up the river after geese. Nan and I are the only ones in the house, and blind John the only one in the yard. I permit him to occupy the kitchen and let the door remain unlocked at night on that account. Things are so different now from what they used to be when Frederick’s noisy crowd were in the yard.

Friday, 24 November, 1865

This day four weeks ago Bake was married. The time seems so short. Fine morning for Hardie and Pigeo to make another start. The stars are out beautifully, and they are making preparation for the purpose. I had all waked up, and I am now writing in my journal. Roosters are crowing and day is just breaking. – – Well, the evening has closed in after a beautiful day and I am sitting alone in my chamber. Nannie’s quite sick in bed and has just fallen asleep. Pigeo and Hardie left about ½  past eight. Drove two mules to the buggy, looking first rate. Though she was so anxious to go to school, she shed a good many tears at parting with all. – – Bill and Zac have gone up the river after geese, though I know they are both tired after cutting out and salting up 19 hogs today. I have been busy in the kitchen nearly all day about lard and sausage, and feeling right much indisposed withall. Have the loaf fat to ty up tomorrow – – Sent Mrs. Lipscomb some fresh meat by Martha. She is in a great deal of trouble. On account of the death of a near relative, she takes the little children to take care of. – – Gave Nan blue mass and calomel tonight.

Thursday, 23 November, 1865

An inclement morning. Bill had 19 hogs killed in good time. – – Hardie and Pigeo are disappointed in going to Richmond, though they got ready and had the buggy at the door. The day was so inclement. – – Nannie’s very complaining. Gave her tartar in broken doses. Pigeo attended to her. I went to the kitchen and attended to taking of fat. Clarissa attended to the outdoor part of it. These nineteen hogs, in addition to those ten killed, make a very pretty lot of pork, weighing about 3,000 pounds. – – I came in about 4, found Nan much better. – – Someone robbed a potato mound last night. Helped themselves plentifully.

Wednesday, 22 November, 1865

A beautiful morning. Willie Turner started after breakfast to Smyrna to hear Dr. Hopson. – – I wrote to the “Eureka” Gift association and sent 75 cents for three sealed envelopes.1 – – Patsy washed out some little things for Pigeo after breakfast and I starched them. We expect Pigeo to start tomorrow. Hardie will carry her. – – Counted out thirty-five dollars in silver for Mr. Goss for the rest of the session. Gave Pigeo $12 for pocket change, and twenty-five dollars to Hardie to pay expenses. Paid him the ten dollars I borrowed of him when Zac went to Richmond. – – Gave Pigeo a molasses stew tonight. The boys helped her to pull it and all enjoyed themselves very much, while I took a nap.

  1. At first I though Caroline was participating in a church related activity as Dr John Thomas wrote Eureka: An Exposition of the Apocalypse (1861). Guess not.  (back)

Tuesday, 21 November, 1865

Rather an inclement day. Had some hail after supper. Willie Turner came to spend the night in order to go to Smyrna tomorrow. I was lying down feeling right much indisposed. Got up after a while and nearly finished off a chemise. Pigeo’s making preparations for school. I have declined sending her to Hollins and will send her to Gordonsville. – – Mr. Goss’ school. – – Bill’s having oats, wheat, &c fanned and cleaning up barn.

Monday, 20 November, 1865

Rather an inclement day. Notwithstanding, had starch made and starching and ironing nicely done in the back chamber by Martha. Nan and myself alternately find upon examination some of the clothes are missing, one of Zac’s shirts is minus.

Sunday, 19 November, 1865

Quite a pretty day. All attended Zion except Nan, who remained from indisposition. Cousin Lem reviewed Dr. Hopson’s sermon, had a large audience. What he said was very satisfactory to all unprejudiced minds. – – Nannie Lewis, Phil, Logan, Willie Turner and Gus Hill returned with us to dinner. All left before supper. Logan proposed to come in a buggy tomorrow evening to take Pigeo to Smyrna the next day to hear Dr. Hopson. – – I received a letter from Bake today through the hands of Gus Hill. She wrote from Charleston, S.C.

Friday, 17 November, 1865

A lovely day. I accompanied the children to Jerusalem. Hardie drove the carriage and Bill rode Fannie. Zac remained to keep house. We returned by Ju’s to dinner and got home to supper. We were all pleased with the sermon, subject “The Kingdom of God.” We differ with him as regards the setting up of the Kingdom, but he approaches very nearly to what we believe to be the plain facts in this case. Dr. Edwards proposed to him to speak on the same subject at Zion next Sunday. They had some conversation. – – They all dined at the Tavern. Pigeo and Hardie walked over in the afternoon to call on Miss Hopson.1 They left in company with the Henley’s for King and Queen while they were there. – – Mr. Henley gave Bill $2 for damage done by his hogs.

  1. Rev. Hopson seem to be traveling with his daughter. We will learn later she is Sadie, 16.  (back)

Thursday, 16 November, 1865

Hardie remained at Ju’s last night, and Bill thought he would like to go to Jerusalem, so I sent Martha up to let Hardie know he wanted Fannie, and also sent for a gallon of oyster Ju bought for me at $1. – – Bill changed his mind again and didn’t go, so Hardie rode Fannie and Zac took Pigeo and Nan to Jerusalem in the buggy. Pigeo remained at Ju’s and the rest got home ½ past 3. Got something to eat, and we all, except Zac, went to the night meeting. He sat up till we returned. I was very much pleased with the Dr. – – Had an oyster stew after we got back. All enjoyed them very much. Pigeo returned with us. She is the picture of good health now. Is as fat and ruddy as a mountain girl, and they tease her almost to death about Billy Gregory.1 – – Patsy washed today.

  1. This may be “cousin” William Gregory who we met 24 June, 1865. He and his brothers are frequent visitors at Woodbury.  (back)

Wednesday, 15 November, 1865

Had a snack of stewed cheese and loaf bread, and Hardie started with the intention of going to Mrs. Hill’s to accompany Hal to the meeting tonight at the C. H. Zac and Pigeo went up in the buggy and Nan on horseback, and I sat up right late waiting for them, but retired before they came. Hardie rode with Nan back. They got in about eleven, very much pleased indeed with Dr. Hobson or Hopsen, I don’t know which.1 He will preach at Jerusalem tomorrow and at the C. H. again at night. If I am well enough, I am anxious to go.2

  1. Although Caroline is initially unsure of the spelling of the preacher’s name, it is Hopson, Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson. As he and members of his family will recur throughout this volume, I will henceforth rendered this surname Hopson consistently throughout this blog, notwithstanding how it appears by Caroline’s hand or the transcription. Notice below that even the redoubtable John B. Jones gets it wrong.  (back)
  2. From A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, by John Beauchamp Jones, 22 October, 1863. “Last night I went to hear Rev. Dr. Hobson, Reformed Baptist, or Campbellite, preach. He is certainly an orator (from Kentucky) and a man of great energy and fertility of mind. There is a revival in his congregation too, as well as among the Methodists, but he was very severe in his condemnation of the emotional or sensational practices of the latter. He said, what was never before known by me, that the word pardon is not in the New Testament, but remission was. His point against the Methodists was their fallacy of believing that conversion was sudden and miraculous, and accompanied by a happy feeling. Happy feeling, he said, would naturally follow a consciousness of remission of sins, but was no evidence of conversion, for it might be produced by other things. It was the efficacy of the Word, of the promise of God, which obliterated the sins of all who believed, repented, and were baptized. He had no spasmodic extravagances over his converts; but, simply taking them by the hand, asked if they believed, repented, and would be baptized. If the answers were in the affirmative, they resumed their seats, and were soon after immersed in a pool made for the purpose in the church.”  (back)

Tuesday, 14 November, 1865

A lovely day. I walked to the barn to see the corn and fattening hogs. Bill getting on right well with the corn, considering he has few hands. The hogs are looking very well. Would kill some twelve or fifteen of them, but the weather too warm. – – I had to sit on the bed as soon as I came in, so little fatigue or exercise overcomes me.

Monday, 13 November, 1865

Fine weather. William Gregory left after breakfast. – – Had souse boiled today. – – Thomas left after receiving all of his wages, except one dollar less to Thomas, my fault. – – My health begins to improve a little. I can take but little exercise though. – – Nannie’s puny, and Hardie takes a pill every night and tries to diet himself, but does nothing else. Jim got him a bottle of spirits at Acquinton church. Bill rode Fannie to look for Tom. She slipped her bridle and made him walk home from the mill. Heard nothing from Tom. He is a cunning fellow.

Sunday, 12 November, 1865

Quite a pretty day. Zac drove the carriage and Pigeo, Nan and myself went to Zion. On our return, called by Ju’s. He is quite complaining. Carried Emma Robins and Mrs. Edwards some of Bake’s wedding cake. Cousin Lem was speaking when we got there. Somehow or other, we can’t get off in time. These uncertain times, he speaks from Christ’s sermon on the Mount. We returned to dinner and W. Gregory came with Hardie, who rode Fannie.

Saturday, 11 November, 1865

I am right much indisposed today from the fatigue of yesterday. Went down, notwithstanding, and had my lard packed away and sausage put up in skins nicely. – – Pigeo and Zac returned to dinner. Mrs. Lewis sent me some nice honey. They came by the store and got four pounds cheese and a pound of crackers. Nannie had a chill today.

Friday, 10 November, 1865

I am up rather earlier this morning and feeling better than I have a right to expect. The boys went about cutting out pork before breakfast, and as soon as I could afterwards, went to the kitchen and had the lard sausage meat &c taken care of by Patsy and Martha, souse cleaned &c, Clarissa attended to the chittlings. Had all done and came in to dinner. Bill, Zac and Hardie knocked about at something else. He was so much taken with my sausage mill, he ground it up in a few minutes with very little trouble. After coming in and taking some hot coffee, I laid down a while and felt much better. – – Pigeo and Zac rode to Dr. Lewis to spend the evening. Sent Mrs. Lewis a basket of fresh meat sausage, &c.

Thursday, 9 November, 1865

Quite a fine day. I remained in bed till about ten or eleven o’clk. Then went down in the dining room and attended to the taking care of fat. Patsy, Martha and Clarissa were the operators. – – I am feeling right much better this evening. Bill insisted on my going out to see his hogs. They are so fat and nice, ten in number. Walked in the garden also to see how Martha had planted the onions. Hardie and Zac went up the river to look for those geese they crippled. Didn’t find them, but killed three ducks. – – Pigeo finished off her dressing gown this morning for school. Has been about it three days. Fits her beautifully.

Wednesday, 8 November, 1865

I am still in bed, very feeble. Hardie assists Bill in his jobbing about the stables, &c. Makes himself useful generally. He is an obliging, good child and always obedient to my wishes. – – Zac’s rather the reverse, has not gotten over being a spoiled child yet. I am anxious that he should assist in getting in the corn, as we have no surplus hands. – – But instead of that, would forget all about the corn and find himself, perhaps till eleven o’clk. sitting in Pigeo’s room with her talking of love and the girls reading poetry, copying songs, &c. He went up to Walkerton Mill this evening. Returned at dark and then they all went up the river after geese. Killed several, but only got one, a very fine one. – – when they returned, Bill went about making preparations for killing some of his hogs. – – Hardie rode to Ju’s this evening. He killed his pork last night. Nan rode Shakespeare to the store to get Pigeo a spool of cotton and rode back with Hardie.

Tuesday, 7 November, 1865

The weather is fine for work now. Hauling and shucking corn today. Hardie fixed the bench to my sausage mill. – – Fixed the boys a table and other things necessary for their comfort in the basement for reading and smoking till bedtime of nights we have too many around our fireplace, and find it impossible to have the chimney fixed to the other room. – – I am still in bed trying to diet myself and get well. Bill is anxious to have some hogs killed and has to delay on account of my health. He is very persevering and energetic, and I don’t like to do anything to retard his progress in his farming operations. If I am not better in a day or two I will send and get Mrs. Lipscomb to come over and attend to it for me. – – Liv Lipscomb and Lieut. Robinson called on Pigeo this afternoon.1

  1. For Liv Lipscomb see 31 August, 1864. Lieut. Robinson should be easy to identify. But he remains illusive.  (back)

Monday, 6 November, 1865

Another pretty day. – – Bake and the Lieut. were to arrive in Petersburg yesterday evening and start for Savannah this morning. – – I am confined in bed again today. – – Patsy washed today. Zac helped to pull corn a little. It is useless to think of sending him to school now, when he doesn’t average one day in a week. Pigeo is preparing for school. Her health has so much improved I think she will be able to enter before the 3rd of January, and the roads will be in better condition. I know she has not a day to lose. – – Hardie and I take our medicine. It has a good effect on him, but scarcely any at all on me. – – Bill had a large stack of fodder hauled today, and wood in the evening.

Sunday, 5 November, 1865

Quite a pretty day. Hardie went to Zion. I am in bed all day. – – I bear Bake’s leaving so much better than I thought I would, that I am astonished at myself. – – Hardie returned to dinner to our great surprise. Zac in the buggy and Thomas in the tumbrel arrived from Richmond after supper. They all spent the first night at the Grove and the next day went on to Richmond, and arrived at the Ballard House @ 3 o’clk.1 Zac then took the buggy and horse and went out to Oakland with Thomas and tumbrel. Remained there till this morning till eleven o’clk. Lieut. Arledge and Bake had rode out to spend the morning with Mary. He left them there. – – Liv attended to the sale of my hams. Sold @ $.28 per pound. Purchased a sausage mill for me @ $5.00. Too much price though and entirely too large for a small family. Purchased a sack of salt for $4. – – Received a letter from Tom and one from the Lieut. and Bake. Also 10 lbs. sugar @ ½ pr. pound, cocoa nut $.15. – – Zac bought a sack of salt for W. M. Turner. one of his mules very lame when he got home. – – I fixed up medicine for Hardie and myself tonight. We are suffering from the same cause. Bill had a mutton butchered this morning.

  1. For a photo of the Ballard House taken about six months earlier, click here.  (back)

Saturday, 4 November, 1865

Another rainy morning. The third since Bake left. – – I think our last two hirelings have earned very poor wage’s these three days – – It has rained all day. I can’t imagine where Bake is, whether they stopped at the Piping Tree or kept on to Richmond. – – Bill commenced having two meals a day. – – I am not as well today as yesterday.

Friday, 3 November, 1865

Another close rainy day. I feel as if I had turned my little bird out of doors to see her start away such weather as this. – – I am feeling very weak and feeble, but I can’t help going over the house and making some new arrangements. – – Had Bake’s bureau moved down in the front chamber. – – Had Hardie’s room fixed for winter, and various other things done. – – Potatoes, onions planted, &c. Hardie sowed some white turnip seed yesterday. – – Cut out a Va. cloth dress for myself today. – – Ju spent a short time with us this evening. Gave him $25.50 to pay Spiller for Liv. Also sent Mag a bottle of yeast by him. – – Gave him some cake, wine and apples. He seems a little low spirited from some course or other.