Wednesday, 31st January, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Bill having the lot fence put up. He and Hardie walked to the C. H. after taking a snack and returned at dark. Zac came in about the same time from school. – – Martha cleaned the dining room floor this evening. – – Found Bake’s muslin quilt put away with my damask curtains. I began to think it had been stolen, having hunted every place as I thought for it. – – Nan and I are repairing different articles. I am about a coat for Bill, badly torn by a hog in the fattening pen before Xmas. – – Nan thinks she had a chill today. Patsy washed.

Tuesday, 30th January, 1866

A tolerably good day. Hardie rode Fannie to the C. H. to see Bill Dandridge and George Ratcliffe.1 Spent the day with Billy. Returned to supper and told me a good deal he said to him respecting Meredith’s suit, what his Pa had told them frequently in relation to it when he would be sitting there alone with him in his office. Spoke of them as being his best friends. – – Had an excellent partridge pie for dinner today. We have them frequently.

  1. There are several possible William Dandridges. But they live in Hanover and New Kent. There is a George F. Ratcliffe of New Kent who would have been about 31 in 1866. But past an 1850 US Census listing, his trail grows cold. Suggestions welcome.  (back)

Monday, 29th January, 1866

Another sunless day. Bill started two plough, but found it too wet to continue. Put the hands at something else. – – Hardie killed two ducks today. I cut out and made a jeans bodice to my flannel and put it on the skirt today. Nan improves very much in drawings. I believe she is more fond of it than any other study she has. I must limit her time in future. She occupies entirely too much in that branch. – – Patsy spinning white wool for counterpanes.

Sunday, 28th January, 1866

We have a great deal of cold, cloudy weather, though the earth is saturated with water from the recent heavy rains. Servants can do but little on the farm, though we are hiring and finding them. – – Hardie remained at home today. The rest of us attended Zion, Bill on Fannie, Zac drove the carriage. Carried Stuart. He behaved remarkably well. Returned by Ju’s and spent the rest of the day. They insisted on my leaving Stuart. They had missed him so much. He is a sweet, interesting child. Bill returned home to dinner. Patsy cooked this week.

Saturday, 27th January, 1866

Rather a gloomy looking day. – – Hardie went partridge hunting and met with Ju and Horace, who returned with him to dinner. Ju brought his medical acct. with him for me to look over. – – They had fine sport shooting. Killed a great many partridges, &c. – – Nan rode to see Mrs. Lipscomb and carried her some molasses, pickles and sugar. She is better today. – – Hardie brought me a letter from Mag. – – Ju informed me today that I could sell the mill for $1500 if I would.

Friday, 26th January, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Bill returned about ten from the party, retired and slept a few hours. Arose to dinner and went out to see about a sheep that had lost her lamb. I sent some meal and salt. Hardie carried it. I am in hopes she will recover after a while. – – Had brine boiled and put to the corned beef. – – Had a smoke made, which I think will be nearly sufficient for the bacon. Had an elegant “molly hare” hung up to smoke that Hardie killed yesterday. He then went with me to the fish house and threw out wheat for my fowls. Have a pretty parcel, if no one interferes with them. I received a note from Mrs. Lipscomb this morning, who is sick, requesting me to send her something nourishing. As soon as we got breakfast, had Shakespeare saddled and Nan with a basket of different things rode to see her. Found her quite sick in bed with two little children, “babies,” to attend to. She was very thankful for what I sent. – – Nan will go again tomorrow if it’s a good day and carry some pickles and other little things. – – I cut out another flannel skirt for myself and made today. – – Martha finished twisting, knitting and sewing cotton. I tried to get her to confess about the soap and bring it back, but she showed no disposition to do so. So I expect to have to lose it all, but I think it nothing more than just to save it out of her wages if they remain all the year.

Thursday, 25th January, 1866

The weather is wet and disagreeable. The hands went to _ ?_ , but Randolph left the field after breakfast and Corbin sometime after. – – Find upon going in the store room today a large quantity of my best soap missing. I suppose about 40 pounds, perhaps more. No one has access to the room but Martha. I don’t know what course to pursue about it. It’s more than I can afford to lose quietly. – – Horace came down to bring some clothes for Stuart. I am busy doubling again today for Martha to twist. I am so sorry she is developing such a character. I have thought her more honest than the generality of servants. – – Bill rode Fannie to a sociable at Mr. Warburton’s this evening.1 Hardie declined going. Zac rode a mule to school.

  1. John E. Warburton, King William’s only Warburton, first appears in the KW PP tax roll in 1861. By 1866 he owns 2 horses or mules, 4 cattle, 8 sheep, and 5 hogs. He has 100$ of household and kitchen furniture. But he is not listed as owning land. The next year he is not listed at all. Mr. Warburton seem to have been born in James City County and married Edna Wilson Pemberton in December, 1860. After his leaving the KW tax rolls the trail is cold until 1880 until he appears in the West Point US Census records. He is 49 and a “Carpenter & Farmer.” As he has a 23 year old step-daughter living with him, as well as two younger daughters, it seems Mr. Warburton married a widow with a small child in 1860. Caroline will mention him once again, this May 26th.  (back)

Wednesday, 24th January, 1866

The snow is melting off rapidly. The rain continues through the day. No school again today. I finished my flannel this morning I commenced turning yesterday. Nan is knitting socks and gloves. The latter she is knitting on some for sale, I believe. She is right industrious for a child as much devoted to reading as she is. – – Hardie’s reading “Abbott’s Life of Napoleon,” Bill Josephus. – – I doubled up some knitting and sewing cotton for Martha to twist. – – The hands are shucking corn again today.

Tuesday, 23rd January, 1866

Found the ground covered with snow this morning. Bill is having some corn shucked. Zac rode Fannie to school, but the Col. didn’t teach. – – I made some peach puffs and mince pies today. – – Martha’s knitting a pair of stockings for Nan. Caught her this morning at a very bad trick. Stole a lot of spun cotton out of the chamber closet and hid it in the passage downstairs. – – Patsy’s spinning white wool.

Monday, 22nd January, 1866

A very good day, weather moderate. Corbin and Randall plough today and Jim hauled wood. I made a bleached bodice for a flannel skirt. – – Nan gets through her studies in good time, and spends the evenings at some kind of work. She has an excellent idea of drawings. – – Martha took up the carpet and cleaned the back parlor. The boys returned before dark, and Zac from school about the same time. Bill settled with Larkin today. Had to pay him two dollars for the cows getting in his field, quite illiberal in him I think. – – Learned but little about Meredith’s suit today.

Sunday, 21st January, 1866

Quite a pretty day. We drove Shakespeare and Fannie to Zion. Nan remained at home, and Hardie and Zac went in the carriage with me, Corbin drove. Returned by Ju’s to dinner and brought Stuart with me home to stay some time. Bill returned from Richmond to supper. Brought a letter from Mary, one from Pigeo and one from Bake. Received one while at Church from Bake and one from Liv, handed me by Hardin. It is so gratifying to me to hear from absent ones. Received a letter from each absent child today, two from one of them. They are all well and as far as I may judge from their letters, happy. – – Nan and I are two invalids, both half of our time complaining. Dellah cooks this week.

Friday, 19th January, 1866

We are all up quite early this morning, and Rose is busy fixing to start home. I shall miss her a good deal. Sent a pair of socks to her father. Gave Bill $20 to buy some things. – – Sent Bake’s box for Adams Express. – – He went in the buggy and drove George. Nan misses Rose a good deal, but she gets on very well with her studies. She made a nice baked custard, and I made an excellent bird pie for dinner. Zac returned early from school. – – Martha ironed today.

Thursday, 18th January, 1866

This has been quite a pretty day. The walking is right bad for Zac, but he has not missed a day this week. – – Bill rode Fannie to the C. H. to see a tumbrel Mr. Slaughter spoke to him about. Found it too large for his purposes and declined taking it. – – Mr. Slaughter gave him some information respecting an old Chancery suit between Dugar’s and Meredith’s Estate.1 Said the suit had been decided before the war at last and the parties were ready for the money agreeable to Mr. Jasper Roe’s statement.2 He returned to dinner. I finished Bake’s letter and put it in her box.

  1. It seems that more than two decades earlier Lewis Littlepage was administrator of an estate that became involved in a law suit. Here is an reference to the suit from the October 24, 1845 edition of the Richmond Inquirer.  (back)
  2. I have not identified this Mr. Roe.  (back)

Wednesday, 17th January, 1866

The snow and hail are going off rapidly. I am afraid the roads will be bad after it. I fixed up a box for Bake today. Bill has an idea of going to Richmond, will take Bake’s box to Adams Express. Articles in the box, one yarn counterpane and a quilt, two pair pillow cases, two dresses, sausages, dried peaches, damsons, ground peas and other nuts, book of recipes, &c. – – Patsy washed today.

Tuesday, 16th January, 1866

I am in bed till eleven today, sleeping but little last night. I feel right much indisposed. – – Cut out a flannel skirt for myself today and nearly finished it. – – Martha twisted and washed the knitting yarn today. – – The weather is disagreeable, though it cleared up about 12. – – Randall went to mill. Bill and Hardie sat in the weaving room all day.

Monday, 15th January, 1866

Zac commenced school today to the Col. Cold and disagreeable day, commenced hailing and snowing about eleven. Sent Miss Attila six pounds yarn, 3 white for double cloth and the colored for striped.1 Told Martha to go on from there and carry Stuart’s things and bring some books home we loaned Mag. Sent him some potatoes. – – Hardie’s cleaning up his gun and getting ready to go to Elsing Green to spend some time with Roger, June and William.2 – – Doubled knitting yarn and Patsy turned some in the kitchen. I took those pills Ju gave me.

  1. Miss Allison remans unidentified; suggestions welcomed. It seems she is doing some weaving for Caroline. UPDATE: Thanks to Nancy’s comment below a recheck of the original text shows it is indeed Miss Attila, not Allison, who received the six pounds of yarn. Thanks again Nancy.  (back)
  2. Roger would be Roger Gregory, later “Judge” Gregory, about 31. Roger’s mother was Maria G. Ellett, Caroline’s aunt. William would have been elder brother William Gregory. “June” is likely Junius C. Gregory, the third of Maria’s four boys.  (back)

Sunday, 14th January, 1866

A cold, disagreeable day. I hesitated with bad feelings, whether I would go to Church or not, but decide to go finally. Zac drove the carriage, George and Shakespeare carried Rose and Stuart up to Ju’s. Called by for Rose on my return. – – Cousin Lem had a very large audience today. Mary King, or rather Mary McLaughlin, was there for the first time since her marriage. Was very cold and indifferent. I don’t know why it was. I have always loved Mary and have been a friend to both of them. – – Bill and Hardie remained at home today and we all returned to dinner. – – Uncle Oby’s daughter came in a tumbrel for some straw. I sent him some no. 6 and mutton suet, and intended to have sent him some provisions, but found the tumbrel was gone when we finished dinner. – – I laid down at twilight and took a long nap. Found all had retired when I awoke. – – Had bad luck with my little chickens this morning, lost two from bad management. – – Patsy cooks this week.

Saturday, 13th January, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Bill started one plough to break up corn ground, in Enfield, Corbin with two mules. He rode to the Acquinton Church to see Mr. Houchings on some business. Returned after we had dined. The boys have been out all day, and Rose and Nan are strolling in different directions, Martha with them. They have been confined to the house so much. Stuart and I are alone in the Chamber when Ju and Horace walked in. They had been shooting partridges. I had a snack for them, and they left after an hour or so. I worked the button holes and put on buttons on Zac’s Va. Cloth vest. The children all came in about sunset, Hardie with some birds, and the rest with a nice parcel of persimmons for beer, all having enjoyed the day out very much. Stuart is an interesting, sweet child and has been company for me all day, and is so fond of me that I can’t help loving him dearly. There is one thing that saddens me so much. O! if it could be otherwise. I earnestly pray for it and that is all that I can do. I know not how to advise. It is a source of a great deal of trouble to me, would that it were in my power to remedy so great an evil. What a misfortune.

Friday, 12th January, 1866

This is a lovely morning, so I determined to have a snack and go up and spend the evening with Rose. Hardie came from Ju’s about 12, and Horace with him to spend the day. – – Zac and I went in the buggy and drove Shakespeare. Was disappointed not finding Rose at home. – – Sat an hour or two with Hill and Festus, and returned by Ju’s and spent the rest of the evening. Found Mag drawing off his accounts. – – I walked with them to the smoke house to look at their meat they had just hung up. A nice parcel of beautiful pork. Zac and I returned to supper. Stuart was delighted to see me. Should have carried Rose, but left her company for Nan. Carried some galavance peas to Rose Hill, was very much pleased with them.

Thursday, 11th January, 1866

Rather an ugly looking morning. The weather somewhat moderated though. – – Mag, Horace and Stuart came early to spend the day, which turned out to be a very pretty one. – – Hardie walked back with Mag and Horace to spend the night with Ju. I kept Stuart with me. He was so anxious to stay. – – Patsy cooked dinner today. – – Mag spoke of Bake’s letter she had just received. She is very well, but very much disturbed at not receiving any letters from any of us, though so many have been written her by different ones. I certainly think it’s strange and cannot account for it. I will not write another until I send her box, and will see if one can reach her in that way. I hope Bill will be able to go to Richmond very soon now, and I will try and fix up a box and send by him in the wagon and put a letter in that.

Wednesday, 10th January, 1866

Zac started to school this morning, but soon returned. The Col. was sick. He joined Hardie, Nan and Rose on the river, who were there skating. All of them went across to the low grounds. – – I looked over Bake’s box today, thinking to find her muslin quilt in there. I have looked everywhere else for it, but have not found it. I am thinking about getting a box ready for Bill to take to Richmond when he goes over to send by Adams Express.1 – – Nan has complained very much all the evening and had a high fever. Gave about 15 grains Blue Mass tonight. My side is pretty well peppered with pimples from the effects of Croton oil. – – Bill spent the day at Ju’s. Said Mag and Horace were coming down to spend the day tomorrow. Randall went out sometime today.

  1. Caroline mistakenly writes “Adam’s.” That has been corrected here.  (back)

Tuesday, 9th January, 1866

Still as cold. The boys skate on the river. I think some of them walked across. – – Nan and Rose carry on their studies very well. The servants are getting wood, but it is too cold for that. I don’t think they can earn their rations. Randall’s sick today and yesterday. – – Hardie rode to Ju’s this evening to have some letters mailed, one to Arledge and the other to “  ” .1 I repaired a pair of cloth pants for Hardie today. – – Bill fixed a place for smoking bacon. Gave it the first smoke today. – – O the week is so cold. – – I am anxious to hear from Bake and Pigeo again. I’ve not received a letter for nearly a month from either of them. I have my time so much taken up and occupied each day that I have not a great deal to devote to serious thoughts about them, and my health being so feeble withall.

  1. Caroline is again very careful not to write the name the person Hardie is corresponding with. Hardie’s “Delcina” perhaps?  (back)

Monday, 8th January, 1866

The coldest weather I most ever felt. The river froze entirely across last night, although the wind blew hard all night. Zac returned from Mr. Lipscomb’s about 12 this morning, where he spent the night. I did some little to a Va. cloth vest of his today, but it is really so cold, it is as much as we can do to keep ourselves warm. – – Dellah cooks this week. She and Patsy take it alternately.

Sunday, 7th January, 1866

A bright morning, but a cold and disagreeable day. – – All except Bill attended Zion. Hardie rode Fannie, and Zac went in the carriage with Nan, Rose and myself. – – Zac rode Fannie from Church and Hardie returned in the carriage with us. Corbin drove the mules. – – Cousin Lem was very interesting today. Subject, “The Kingdom of God”. This is the first Sunday I have attended Church for several weeks, owing to the weather and my delicate state of health. – – I commenced having my side rubbed with Croton oil tonight and taking Taraxacum by Ju’s directions. Nan rubbed my side. – – Dellah cooks this week.

Saturday, 6th January, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Gave the day to Patsy and Martha, according to our arrangements. Ju came about ten and staid till 2. Hardie put on his skates and all the children went to the ice pond skating, Nan and Rose had a great deal of fun they said. – – Zac and Nan rode to spend the evening with Lue Lipscomb.1 Returned to supper. – – Martha baked some bread in the kitchen, and I had a nice partridge stew in the chamber. It was delightful.

  1. Miss Lee Lipscomb appeared in Caroline’s text 21 August, 1864. In the attached footnote it was suggested this is Sarah Louise Libscomb, eldest daughter of Sterling Brett Lipscomb and Angeline Ellett. They live at Mount Hope, the Littlepage’s previous residence. Sarah Louise appears to have had multiple nicknames taken from Louise, including Lue, Lee, Lou and Loula. Caroline will soon settle on Lu as her nickname.  (back)

Friday, 5th January, 1866

The weather is intensely cold. – – Martha ironed the plain clothes today and I ironed the shirts. – – Hardie met Ju over in the field and killed some partridges together. Made him promise to come again tomorrow. – – Nan and Rose attend quite well to their studies, generally get through before dinner, then occupy the evening either knitting, sewing or playing babies. Nan is knitting a pair of socks for Stuart. I have just finished a pair for him. Rose is footing a pair for Zac. – – Hardie and I took a nap early and arose about nine and sat up till 2, he writing a letter to his “Delcinia.”1 – – Clarissa sent a pitcher of delightful beer.

  1. Delcina as a girls’ name is of Latin origin; it means “sweet.” As she did last Friday by giving the reader a blank for the name of Liv’s date to the Robins party, Caroline continues her coyness here by not providing us with Hardie’s girlfriend’s real name. Her journal treatment of the courtship and marriage of Bake was only hinted at until just before her wedding. Is she trying not to jinx the couples?  (back)

Thursday, 4th January, 1866

About ten or eleven the sun made his appearance for a short time, but not long to remain. I put my hen and chickens out for the first time. He soon withdrew his light and before night we had a little snow. Nan took advantage of it though and rode up to Ju’s on Shakespeare a short while to get a book for Rose. I sent Zac up to see the Col. about his school and to know if he could enter at this time. He expressed some pleasure at his doing so. – – Zac received an invitation to Larkin’s to a sociable given Coly Edwards and Lady.1 He repaired there after taking something to eat. Larkin sent a servant on horseback for Nan to come without fail, also Bill and Hardie. The two latter went, but Nan is having chills and I was afraid for her to turn out at night. The boys returned about two o’clk. – – Patsy washed today. – – I walked to Jim’s house to see Clarissa, who is sick. Ascertained what she needs and told Jim to come for the medicine tonight, which he did. – – Dandridge made some complaints to me this morning respecting Addison, who had offended Bill, and he saw cause to correct him. After having some conversation with him, he became reconciled, but not to the satisfaction of Bill. – – Martha cooked dinner today. Baked a very nice partridge pie of birds Hardie killed this morning. – – I repaired several underbodies for Nan today. Tucked two of her dresses yesterday for Rose to wear while she is down.

  1. Coly Edwards and Lady are the recently married Prestley Coleman Edwards and his bride Mary Beverley [Robinson] Edwards. In an 1862 letter from Private Julian Edwards to his father Dr. Lemuel he writes: “I now hasten to let you know I am here in our own Virginia all safe, and sound, in order to relieve you of any feelings of anxiety in regard to me, as Coly wrote you in his last that he heard we were in Pennsylvania.” Julian is Dr. Lemuel’s eldest child. His son Prestley Coleman, who must have been known as Coly, is his second. Both served in Company H, 9th Virginia Cavalry.  (back)