Tuesday, 31st July, 1866

The weather quite warm. Bill’s getting out corn for shipping. Capt. Bramble will be here tomorrow. – – We are expecting Major Douglass to examine papers, but could gain very little information from them, and by promise, left to spend the night with Mr. Cooke. Mr. Pollard came a few minutes after he started and as he wished to see him and compare papers, went over to Enfield to return in the morning to breakfast. – – Pigeo and Logan Turner returned from Bruington this evening. The meeting adjourned today. Logan left for home soon after arriving. – – Zac has not returned yet. Liv rode out on Fannie after taking a snack. Did not return tonight, but a boy came from Enfield to look for Fannie.

Monday, 30th July, 1866

Pleasant morning. Bill had a fine lamb killed. – – Very unexpectedly, the old Col. spent the day. I was very much pleased to see him. He is so very interesting and such a nice gentleman. I am glad we happened to kill a lamb this morning. I wish very much Zac had been at home. The Col. wished for him and Pigeo, but they had not returned from Bruington.1

  1. While Caroline does not explicitly identify him, in the three prior instances when she writes “the old Col.” she seems to be referring to frequent visitor, and Zac’s tutor, Col. H. C. McLaughlin. He is footnoted on 8th June, 1864.  (back)

Sunday, 29th July, 1866

Quite early this morning Logan Turner came about 8 to take Pigeo over to Bruington by promise. They started at 10. Zac walked across to meet with some girls and cross at Mr. McGeorge’s on his way to Bruington. Liv crossed at Walkerton. He returned in the night. The rest remained at King and Queen. Nan, Bill and myself spent the day at home, a thing I never like to do on Sunday if I can help it. – – Walked up to see Washington and sent him some medicine by Addison.

Saturday, 28th July, 1866

We have very cool morning and evenings, and the rest of the day excessively hot. – – I enjoyed a fine watermelon Bill sent me unexpectedly from the barn about eleven. – – Mrs. Crow came for some things for Mrs. Lipscomb. She is still sick. Sold Mrs. Crow a pound butter for Washington. Is to pay in a few days. Zac was anxious to have gone over to Mr. Henley’s to accompany them to the association tomorrow, but a shower of rain prevented him. Liv started for Bruington after dinner on Fannie, but got no farther than Mr. Cooke’s. The rain prevented him also. He returned in the night some time. – – I am at work on my linen chemise and Nan complaining. Pigeo making a buff jacket. Bill shelled out upwards of 300 bushels corn today.

Friday, 27th July, 1866

I arose as usual this morning and about 5 the wagon returned with the children, Mr. Cooke and Miss Henley. He left about ten, after eating some watermelons, and Zac with him, who remained till dinner. The rest retired to their room for sleep, as they had been up all night. – – Mr. Henley sent for Jennie about 1, and after taking a snack, left before dinner. – – Bill’s making preparation to get out corn for sale. – – Liv unexpectedly came about sunset. I had given out looking for him, as he didn’t come to the Exhibition. Brought me a letter from Mary. Her health is not as good as it was, and Rose is having Chills. – – He brought a letter for Patsy also from Bake. Our vicious animal has become more quiet and docile.

Thursday, 26th July, 1866

The weather continues threatening. Notwithstanding, Zac went in the boat to Hillsborough for Miss Jennie Henley to accompany them, Pigeo, Nannie and himself to the Exhibition. They will go in the wagon and drive George and Mr. Cooke’s horse. Misses Clarkson, Walker and Cooke came to escort them up. Mr. Cooke went in the wagon with them. Zac drove. – – I had a very nice dinner prepared for them to carry. Engaged Clarissa to attend and take care of the things. – – Bill gathered some watermelons for the occasion. – – Zac gathered corn for corn pudding before starting away in the boat. – – Martha is doing me the favor to overseam my chemise. – – We being the only occupants, the house is very quiet. Bill’s about the turnips, finished this evening. Had some blk. radish seed sowed and some white turnips also. – – Clarissa returned home from the Exhibition about 6 o’clk. with basket dinner went in, but now broken crockery, which they handed out to her to take home, as they went on to the C. H. without my knowledge or permission to join in a dance at a surprise party, greatly to my chagrin and mortification. Bill and I sat up till near eleven and retired, had supper put away, thinking they would come some time during the night.

Wednesday, 25th July, 1866

The weather is blowing and threatening for rain. Zac rode a mule to get evergreens to decorate the Church for the exhibition tomorrow. When he returned with it, Pigeo accompanied him in the buggy to Acquinton to assist. They returned after dark, dined at Dr. Lewis.’ – – Several of the boys rehearsed their speeches before the Col., and Zac among the rest with all. He was very much pleased and expressed his entire satisfaction. I am very much indisposed all day with severe headache and neuralgia in the face, something I am not subject to. – – Nannie complaining also. – – Commenced planting rutabaga, turnip seeds this evening, Patsy, Susannah, Jim, Washington and Addison.

Tuesday, 24th July, 1866

Quite pleasant this morning. Bill rode to the shop at Acquinton church on business. Returned by Ju’s to dinner and had that animal brought home. He expects Mr. Gary to take breakfast here in the morning. Pigeo’s at work on her new dress, and Nannie trying to knit, but quarrels with Liv all the time for not coming down with her hat to wear to the exhibition on Thursday. I am anxious to attend also, but am afraid it will not be in my power. Bill’s business will not permit him to leave home. Commenced about his rutabaga patch this evening. – – I cut out two linen chemise for myself this evening.

Monday, 23rd July, 1866

Still warm, but fine growing weather. Zac went to the watermelon patch and gathered the first we have had. We expected Maj. Douglass and kept them in the spring till night, but Bill returned from Court without him. He came in a buggy with some other gentleman and had to return with him to Aylett’s. Martha does some little jobs for me. She is very polite and obliging. – – Finished oats today. Jim, Addison and Dandridge had an encounter in the oat lot this evening. Bill sent to the C. H. for that unruly animal, but Washington couldn’t manage him. – – Martha cooked dinner today.

Sunday, 22nd July, 1866

The weather continues warm. – – Pigeo, Nan and Bill remained at home. Zac and I went in the buggy to Zion and returned to dinner. The roads were badly washed. I spent rather an irksome evening at home. Zac went to look for some blackberries, but couldn’t find any worth speaking of. – – Bill dressed with an intention of riding out, which prevented Zac from getting to Acquinton this evening. The Choir generally meets there to practice, and he always enjoys it so much. – – We heard some very disagreeable news at Church today. An animal of ours broke out and has been missing for several days, and the first intelligence we had of him was that Mr. Dunn had him confined with his stock and the result was the killing of his horse, which I am very sorry for, but he should have notified Bill according to law.1

  1. This is likely Lee A. Dunn. The U.S. Census shows he had a son Robert who was about 13 when this incident takes place. Lee Dunn, besides being a farmer, is Commissioner of Revenue for King William County.  (back)

Saturday, 21st July, 1866

Fine growing weather. Cut Pigeo’s body and jacket this morning. Zac’s busy writing off and preparing his speech. – – Pigeo’s suffering right much with a cold in the stomach. Made some eggnog for her and think it did her cold some good. – – Cut out two linen chemise for myself this evening. – – Zac fixed up paper over the transom sash in the passage. Patsy cooked dinner and Martha brought it in and waited on the table. I think she is very anxious to get back to her old home. – – Jim and Washington are cutting the lot of oats, but were prevented from finishing them by the rain, tremendous thunder and cloud, and a great deal of rain this evening. I made the skirt of Pigeo’s dress complete.

Friday, 20th July, 1866

A showery growing day, fine weather on corn. Patsy washed today, so I cooked dinner on the stove. She picked the chicken. First dish of cornfield peas today. – – I made the skirt of Pigeo’s dress before dinner. Made some very nice ginger cakes this evening. Fine rain and quite a severe thunderstorm during the evening. – – Sent a reply and an acceptance to General Smith today for his appointment by the Board of Visitors of the Va. Military Institute. The Col. heard the children’s speeches and gave them some instructions in relations to them. – – His examination will take place at the Academic Hall next Monday and Tuesday, to which the patrons are all invited and the exhibition on the 26th. He prides himself very much on his pupils and takes great interest in them all.

Thursday, 19th July, 1866

Still excessively hot. This is the 3rd day since Bill commenced about oats. Has only cut one hand and gets on slowly. – – Mrs. Crow came on Mrs. Lipscomb’s account and carried her a bushel of corn and one doz. herrings, for which she promised to settle as soon as she can. – – Bill walked to the C. H. after dinner to enquire about the tax gatherer, who is expected there.1 – – Had a very pretty rain in his absence. Minerva, whom Ju had sent to borrow a peck of flour, was detained several times on account of it. – – Dandridge has been here several days sick. Martha is on a visit to see him. – – I cut off the skirt of Pigeo’s dress and commenced making it this evening. She and Nan are very much pleased with the dresses I purchased for them yesterday. Zac attended school today for the first time this week. Has not returned tonight, prevented by the rain I imagine.

  1. This “tax gatherer” would certainly be an agent of the federal government collecting taxes levied by an 1862 act of Congress. That act created income and other taxes on individuals which were used to finance federal expenses associated with the Civil War. Individuals in areas of the southern Confederacy became liable for these taxes soon after Union troops gained control. Not surprisingly, after the war these taxes became politically controversial, north and south. Eventually most of these taxes would be repealed and the Supreme Court eventually declared the entire law unconstitutional in 1895. Most of the records concerning the collection of these taxes were destroyed the following year. But not all. Some of the original assessment lists survived and are stored in the National Archives. They since have been microfilmed, digitized, and are available to the public. Click HERE to see the 1866 excise tax roll for King William that includes Caroline’s assessment.  (back)

Wednesday, 18th July, 1866

Intensely hot and dry. I was up quite early this morning and got ready, Zac and I to spend the day with Will and Ann.1 We started about 6. Stopped at Canton and made a few purchases. I left there about 8 for River View, arrived there at ten o’clk. Spent the day very agreeably, and left there at ½ past 6. Crossed over the Old Mill in returning, but went down the other way, which was still farther. We arrived at home about ten o’clk. Had a delightful ride. Found all had retired, so Zac and I went down and found some supper. He went to the spring for the milk and a pitcher of cool water. I am beginning to feel sad at times at the idea of his leaving for Lexington in Sept. I know the separation will be painful and I shall miss him so much, especially on Sundays going to Church, but I will endeavor to put my trust in the Lord. He has provided for me hitherto, and at the same time, commit him to his care and keeping, beseeching him each day of my life to watch over him, guard and guide him through the many perils to which he may be exposed, sustain him in every trial and enable him to surmount all the temptations by which he may be surrounded in his future pathway.

  1. Will and Ann are Caroline’s brother and sister-in-law. Riverview is on the banks of the Pamunkey River near Cohoke. It was once the home of Caroline’s father and will be the home of Dr. Julian Edwards, great-grandfather of the author of this footnote, and eldest son of “Cousin Lem.”  (back)

Tuesday, 17th July, 1866

The weather intensely hot. Should have gone to Canton this morning, but did not think of telling Zac in time to have the horse brought over. – – Patsy’s still laid up with her toe, so it fell to my lot to have cooking in the stove. John Banks assisted me in Addison’s place, as he is banding oats after Jim, who commenced cutting today. Got Zac to go in the garden and dig a basket potatoes after dinner. I don’t know what I shall do without him when he goes to the Institute. He received his appointment, a State Cadet, Va. Military Institute last week.

Monday, 16th July, 1866

I arose quite early this morning. Addison came in and said Patsy would not be out to get breakfast on account of her toe, so I went down and soon had it ready myself. – – Zac went with Bill to get up his hogs. They returned about ten, brought most of them home and put them in a pen. – – Mr. Henley sent his two little sons for a hog of his we had in a pen, taken in the potato patch rooting them up. After getting breakfast, Zac brought George and he and I spent the day at Ju’s quite pleasantly. Called on Mrs. Slaughter, i.e., Mag and I did. – – We returned home to supper. (Gave Pigeo and Nan some darning to do today by way of recreation.) On account of moving some hogs from Enfield, two died, which mortified Bill very much, injured another also.

Sunday, 15th July, 1866

Quite warm again today. Zac got the carriage ready and took Pigeo and myself to Church, drove Mary and Lucy. Was very much prevailed on by Cousin Lem and his wife to go with them and attend the evening meeting, but declined and returned home to dinner. Came by to see Mrs. Lipscomb, who is suffering from the bite of an insect. After I got home, sent her some things by Addison.

Saturday, 14th July, 1866

The weather continues very warm. After breakfast, I went down and did over some preserves and then had a snack. Bill had gone to the Militia call, returned soon enough to go up to Walkerton Mill. Brought the meal and flour. I took supper before Bill returned, but gave out supper to Patsy for himself and the children, who I am expecting every minute. They came just before supper was ready, and Miss Jennie Henley and Alec Acree with them.1 Gave Patsy some flour for raking a walk in the garden. Gave out three weeks allowance of meat to Jim and one week to Washington. After dinner, I examined those papers belonging to Meredith’s Estate. Jim has meat for three weeks from this time.

  1. We may have met Alexander Campbell (Alec) Acree of Walkerton in King and Queen County on 18 February last year. He is now about 16, the son of Col. Edward Smith Acree and his wife Mary Susan [Fox] Acree. The Acrees lived at what would later be called “The Hotel” overlooking the Mattiponi River. A century later the residence had been converted into apartments. In 1973-74 the top floor of the rear “wing” was occupied by the author of this footnote.  (back)

Friday 13th July, 1866

Quite warm today. Had my grained peas ploughed this morning before ploughing in peas. – – Patsy finished the watermelons this morning, commenced yesterday morning. – – Zac walked to the C. H. this morning, but went no farther thinking the Col. would not be at school. Returned to dinner. Staid in his room most of the evening till it was time to get the boat ready to take Pigeo and Nan over to Mr. Henley’s. They waited till 7 for Lu, but she did not come. They started at 7 for a pleasant boat ride, three happy little souls. Will attend the singing at Bruington tomorrow. – – Went in the garden after they left and planted part of a square in corn. It was badly broken up though by Washington.

Thursday, 12th July, 1866

Beautiful, pleasant weather since the rain, which was very beneficial to everything. – – Zac’s raking over the yard walks a little before going to school. Nan has finished off two very pretty bodies and braided them this week. I pleated another skirt for Pigeo this evening. Nan and herself, with Zac to accompany them, are to go over to Mr. Henley’s tomorrow evening by appointment to go to the singing at Bruington in King and Queen. – – Zac returned rather earlier than usual this evening. The Col. was sick and he spent the day with Jimmie Spiller. Brought us some nice apples. Met with Pigeo and Nan, who had walked to look for blackberries, and all returned together to supper. John Banks and his wife came about 12 to obtain some provisions. They are quite destitute. I informed him there was no meal in the house to part with, but if he would go up to Walkerton Mill and bring our meal home he could get some. He did so, after getting dinner for himself and wife. I let him have a bushel and 9 lbs. bacon. Sent 5½ bushels wheat by him to be ground by Saturday. – – Set two hens this evening, a turkey and dunghill hen, set two a few days ago. – – Hal has commenced keeping her nest the second time. Did not succeed in hatching the first time. Had the misfortune to get her eggs broken. – – Bill commenced to laying in some black eyed peas today with one plough by Washington, i.e., will begin tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11th July, 1866

Cloudy but no rain. After doing some work in the yard, Zac had the buggy cleaned and put washers on the wheels for Pigeo and himself to attend the singing at Acquinton. They started about eleven, did not return till a little after dark. Came through a powerful heavy dew. The first term of Mr. Grubb’s school closed today, and he reorganized for another term, to commence next Wednesday.1 Nan has been very busy all day braiding her bodies, a Swiss and brilliant. She certainly deserves credit. Cut out both herself and finished them off. – – I find but little time to do anything but keep house. Patsy ironed today. Nan ironed a Swiss skirt and pink organdy dress for herself. She has a very good idea of doing most anything she pleases. I smocked a calico dress for Pigeo. – – The rain, I’ve no doubt, begins to benefit the corn. Bill walked to the C. H. and returned after supper. – – Zac received a letter today from the Supt. of the Va. Military Institute informing him of his appointment as Cadet by the Board of Visitors on the 27th of June. It’s very gratifying to him. Hope he will be able to accept it and it will be agreeably gratifying to him.

  1. Mr. Grubb, or more likely Mr. Grubbs, has not been identified in connection with any local schools or academies. However, he may have been responsible for the singing school where Zac has been a scholar since May.  (back)

Tuesday, 10th July, 1866

Found it raining this morning and continued showers through the day. Patsy and Addison weeded some of the yard walks. Bill assisted in laying them, and Zac lent a hand also after writing off his speech for the Col’s. exhibition at the close of the session. – – I pleated a buff skirt for Pigeo today. It was very troublesome.

Monday, 9th July, 1866

Not quite as warm today as yesterday. – – Pigeo and Nan cut out a body a piece, one of brilliant and the other tucked muslin. – – Patsy’s washing, and it falls to my lot to get dinner, but I shall not hurt myself doing that, it’s too warm. Bob commenced sowing plaster this morning on the fallow peas. Todd Harris came for money, but didn’t get it.1 Came on to rain about 5 o’clk. and of course washed all the plaster off the peas. Don’t know whether they will be benefitted by it at all. – – Paid Bob 62 and ½ cents for the time he sowed. Bill and I counted up the bacon, only 116 pieces, 4 pieces too little. Don’t know how to acct. for it. I am very particular in numbering the pieces used. Had 174 pieces in February.

  1. We met Todd’s family back on 11 December last year.  (back)

Sunday, 8th July, 1866

The warmest day I’ve experienced. The thermometer stands at 98 and 99 nearly all day. Zac  on horseback to Zion, none of the rest attended. Cousin Lem sent me some of his views on a Christian’s good _?_ Episcopal Church, which I intend to read. Buck and Patsy went visiting today.

Saturday, 7th July, 1866

Quite cool last night, but very warm during the day. I slept on the settee, and Pigeo and Nannie on the mattress. – – The former is suffering with a very bad cold. Bill remained in the house this evening. It was too warm and dry to go out till late in the evening. Zac and he walked to the field. It’s distressing to look at the corn field. The twist doesn’t get out through the night scarcely, it is so very dry and no dew.

Friday, 6th July, 1866

Exceptionally hot. Zac started up to meet the stage for Pigeo. Gave him $5 to pay stage fare. They arrived to dinner. Stage fare $3.50. – – Distressing weather on corn, so dry and windy it twists very much. – – I’ve been ½ the day mending a pair of gloves.

Thursday, 5th July, 1866

Another fine morning. Bill’s sowing peas. I am afraid they will be too late to do well, but I don’t know how it could have been avoided. Labor is so uncertain and changeable, we can make no calculation about anything. He has sowed eleven bushels black peas purchased in Balt.@ $9 pr. bushel. Very warm thermometer, 98 degrees in the passage, and exceedingly dry. – – Had some onions taken up this evening. They are very fine, silver skins, raised from the seed sown last year. – – Nan and I indulged in running a race knitting on our stocking this evening. Enjoyed a few rows very much, it’s seldom I find time to knit. – – Someone robbed me of my bottle of milk out of the spring. A boat passed up the river with some freedmen in it. I suppose they came ashore and perhaps helped themselves.

Wednesday, 4th July, 1866

A lovely day for the celebration at every point.1 Nan will not attend. She is too young to go that distance. Zac attends the singing today at Acquinton. Took Hardie up to the stage this morning for Richmond. Informed Pigeo by him that I would send to meet her at the stage on Friday. – – Nan sent $5 to Pigeo to have her hat shaped and get some things, after paying Mary for the gipsy. – – I was too busy to write to anyone by him. Nan wrote to Pigeo. – – Zac attended the singing and returned to supper. It being the 4th of July there were a great many persons. – – Horace came down this evening. Says Stuart’s quite sick, having chills. – – Washington was the only one who attended the Tournament, except Jim’s wife.2

  1. Caroline seems to write “every point” when she describes the event in the last two entries as W. Point and “Point Lookout.” See the original here.  (back)
  2. For those interested in more information about these tournaments, I suggest The Ring Tournament in the United States, by Esther J. and Ruth W. Crooks, published 1936 in Richmond by Garrett and Massie. A good overview, for 1936, is found in Chapter 1, while Chapter 3 describes tournaments in Virginia. If it is not in your local library, it is certainly available by inter-library loan. There is also a chapter on ring tournaments by Paul Christopher Anderson in Weirding The War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges published in 2011 by The University of Georgia Press and edited by Stephen Berry.  (back)