Friday, 11th May, 1866

We have a great deal of cloudy and wet weather recently. This has been a very inclement day. – – The freedmen received notice from William Edwards to meet at the C. H. today.1 – – Zac took Lu down the river to Mr. Henley’s. – – He has only attended school one day this week, owing to the Col’s, being sick. Bill rode to the C. H. after taking a snack. I cut out and made a shirt for Buck today. He is very much in want of it. – – Patsy’s scraping out some walks in the yard, too wet for anything. I am a little indisposed or at least I think so. Nan went down and had a nice little supper about an hour by sun, “excellent coffee” and she and I enjoyed it. I then laid down and took a short nap and by that time Bill returned and I went with him down to supper. I only ate a piece of fruit pie. Nan thinks I am very imprudent, but I really have enjoyed the pies and think they have agreed with me better than anything else I’ve eaten for the last several days. I wanted something acid. I believe it’s necessary for the stomach. – – Mrs. Hill sent to me for potato plants, but I could send her but very few, just having drawn and set about 1000 a day or two ago. Sent her little upwards of a hundred. – – Hal sent me a nest for my bird. – – Received a letter from Hardie from Danville, and a notice respecting Meredith suit.2

  1. Why, you might ask, should William Edwards give notice for the Freedmen of KW to meet at the Courthouse? A reading of the Freedmen’s Bureau Records provides the answer. Among the initial assignments for Lt. Chance was the establishment the Freedman’s Court for the County. The Court was to consist of a representative of the Freedmen, a representative of the White citizens of the County, and Lt. Chance. At the public meeting called by Lt. Chance, likely back on 26 March, the Freedmen selected William D. Edwards of Cherry Grove. Edwards, 34, served throughout the war in the King William Artillery, attaining the rank of Sergeant before being wounded at Yellow Tavern, losing an arm, and finishing out the war in the Reserves. We met him in a footnote back on 13 March, 1865. This selection seems, at least on the surface, an odd choice. More oddly, the White citizens declined to select a representative. Thus when the first Freedman’s Court opened in April, only representatives of the Freedmen and the Bureau heard and decided cases brought before them. Next week Lt. Chance will notify his superiors that on May 14th the White citizens reconsidered and selected a Confederate veteran to represent them as well, Col. James Christopher Johnson.  (back)
  2. The “notice” was a summons. When Caroline qualified as administrator of her husband’s estate she also assumed Lewis’ administrative role in one of the estates involved in this decades-old series of legal claims and counter-claims. She also assumed the liabilities. Caroline will continue to mention her vexatious legal entanglement for the next few months.  (back)