Thursday, 5th April, 1866

Very warm today, disagreeably so. I was late getting out of the dining room this morning. Washed the windows and did various other things that used to be Martha’s business. Sutherland came to spend the day.1 – – Bill attended the Yankee and Freedman Court today.2 – – Liv and Hardie floated last night and caught 39 shad. Liv took them to the W. O., but found no carts there to take them. Brought 34 back. We have caught 265 in all. – – Patsy jobbing a little in the garden and circle today. – – Liv speaks of going to Richmond tomorrow, and Nan and I made some ginger cakes to send Pigeo and the children, and I am so tired every day when night comes that I hate to move. Nan and I do what we used to have some ½ doz. employed about. – – I cut a small bunch of asparagus this morning. – – Larkin sent for a bushel sweet potato seed, and Sallie Hill ½ bushel, both paid. – – Sent $2.75 to Susan Finch by Bill when he went to the C. H. for cake making. Nan hemmed two handkerchiefs for herself after getting through her lessons. – – Bill returned about 4 o’clk. Susan Finch was not there. He paid Dandridge $2 for Addison, the 75 cents to Randall who went up to the C. H. after feeding his mules and eating his dinner. Bill assisted Hardie in straightening his seine. Sutherland left soon after and Hardie went floating.

  1. Sutherland Gregory Littlepage, 20, is the youngest child of Col. Edmund Littlepage (1804-1856) of nearby Cool Spring, and the grandfather of Ethel Littlepage [Jackson] Ahern, to whom this website is dedicated.  (back)
  2. While the Freedman’s Bureau was established in the US War Department in March of 1865, it did not directly make its presence felt in King William County until eleven months later. An office was established at West Point that month by Lt. John C. Chance, a native of Pennsylvania. Severely wounded in 1862 at the Battle of Charles City Crossroads (Glendale), Chance was captured and eventually paroled. Discharged as permanently disabled, he then joined the Veterans Reserve Corps. When his regiment disbanded after the war, he was ordered in January 1866 to report for duty to the Freedman’s Bureau. Chance was posted to King William County the following month. He served there until June, 1866 when he was reassigned to South Carolina where he served the Bureau until October 1867. While Caroline will not mention Lt. Chance by name, she will mention his successor. In turn, the Littlepages will appear early and often in Bureau correspondence. The story of the Freedman’s Bureau in King William has never been told. But from preliminary research, it deserves attention.  (back)