Monday, 31st December, 1866

Found the snow quite deep this morning. Bill went out and cut wood for fires generally, then called his hogs, while Addison made fires. Patsy sent word by Jim she was sick, so I went down and cooked breakfast with the assistance of Addison. Mr. Cooke left about 12, and Bill and Hardie went to dine by promise at their Aunt Martha Ann’s, with the boys, Suddie having killed two wild turkeys.

Sunday, 30th December, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Had a pleasant ride to Zion with Mollie in the buggy, but suffered very much with cold returning home. Bill went to Jerusalem, and Hardie to Zion, both on horseback. We called by Ju’s and all returned to dinner. Mr. Cooke carried Pigeo in his buggy to St. Davids. They returned to dinner also. Patsy cooked dinner. Mr. Cooke spent the night. Came on to snow about eleven o’clk.

Saturday, 29th December, 1866

A beautiful day. Mr. Cooke and Mrs. Harrison came to spend the morning. The boys had gone hunting and to the C. H. Returned late, after dining at Larkin’s. Nan finished her bonnet. It is a beautiful one and shaped most fashionably. Pigeo is engaged working chime band and sleeves for Nannie Lewis, since Friday. Paid Jim $6, Washington $6, Tom $2.50, Patsy and Addison $5.75.

Friday, 28th December, 1866

A cold, windy, blustering day. Bill and Hardie went up to Mr. Slaughter’s sale soon after breakfast and remained till dark, i.e., Bill went, Hardie left with Mag and Stuart about eleven o’clk. – – Nan commenced about making herself a velvet bonnet. Think she has a very good idea of it. I just begin to get over the trouble and fatigue of the last several days. Dellah came to take leave of me this morning.

Thursday, 27th December, 1866

The weather intensely cold. A great change took place during the night. Tremendous wind with snow prevented the boys from going down the County on a deer hunt. Bill and Liv rode to the C. H. after breakfast and returned to supper, in company with Ju. Mr. Cooke called this morning. Would have brought his sister, but for the disagreeably windy, cold day. Liv packed up and fixed up his gear, and very unexpectedly left for Richmond by the way of Cool Spring, where he will spend the night. I shall miss the boys when they leave, they have kept the house well supplied with game of all kinds. All have enjoyed the society of each other. We have met but to part. I am sad tonight. Can’t sleep for thinking, my thoughts are scattered far and wide. I must not indulge in this sadness. When the morning dawns I shall not have time to think. The servants are all breaking up and I shall have additional duties to perform. Dandridge came in this morning to have a final settlement.

Wednesday, 26th December, 1866

Quite a fine morning, weather moderate. After necessary preparations and giving out dinner to Patsy, I repaired to my chamber. Had everything made, &c. Ju, Mag and Stuart walked though and were the first to get here. Some ten or a doz. were prevented coming, from different reasons. I expected Dr. Lewis’ family, Hill’s family and servants. Mr. Cooke excused his sister, Mrs. Harrison, saying as all would be strangers to her, she preferred calling on us when we were alone. Mrs. Camm Garrett was prevented, also Susan Littlepage. I will name all who came: Hardin, Kit and Cornelia, Martha Ann, Johny Bev and Sutherland, Larkin, Mrs. Garrett and Lem, Camm, Lucy Roy and Johnny, Mr. Newill, Bill Dandridge, Mr. Warner Edwards, Mr. Cooke.1 All remained till after supper, enjoyed themselves very much till about eleven o’clk. and all except Mag and Stuart left. – – Liv went over just about dinner time and killed two fine wild geese. Came in as we were finishing dinner.

  1. Susan Littlepage is Col. Hardin’s wife, the former Susan Pemberton Robins. “Kit and Cornelia” are Col. Hardin’s daughter Cornelia and her husband Robert Christopher (Kit) Hill. Martha Ann is the late Edmund Littlepage’s widow. “Johny(,) Bev and Sutherland” are her sons: John Lewis Littlepage, 32, Beverly Arnott Littlepage, 26, and Sutherland Gregory (Suddie) Littlepage, 20. “Larkin, Mrs. Garrett and Lem” are Larkin Garrett, his wife Harriett Coleman [Edwards] Garrett, and their son Lemuel Camm Garrett, about 8. Larkin’s brother Camm has brought his two eldest children, John Wiley Garrett, 13, and Lucy Roy Garrett, who just turned 10. Mr. Newill (Newell?) and Mr. Bill Dandridge have not been identified. Warner Edwards and Mr. Cooke are neighbors who frequent Woodbury, and Caroline’s journals.  (back)

Tuesday, 25th December, 1866

This is a lovely day and I have been as busy as a bee, doing various things with but little assistance. It being Xmas day didn’t like to interrupt the enjoyment of it to others, further than was really necessary. Did various things on the stove, such as stewing peaches and apples, baking mince pies, &c, &c. – – Bill and Hardie had some sport this morning catching a fine old gobbler. He partook somewhat of the agility of his size, who would not allow himself to be taken by the Yankees, a little after this time two years ago. They succeeded though, and Patsy soon reduced him to a state of nudity. – – Bartlett and Dellah came in to see me while I was engaged in the dining room. Secured their services for tomorrow. He very politely offered his wife, I would accept of him as a butler. – – Mr. Cooke came over this morning before breakfast. Led a horse for one of the boys to ride in fox chase they intend having. Have had old Renard two nights and a day secured in the barn, which was very remarkable.1 Liv and Hardie took a walk Sunday evening and took the fox from some hounds that were hunting. They all came in about 10 o’clk. P.M., having taken supper at Hardin’s.

  1. Renard (Reynard) is French for fox. But the story is a bit more involved than a that.  (back)

Monday, 24th December, 1866

The day tolerably good. Bill left for Court about eleven on Fannie. Liv and Hardie went up in the buggy sometime after, took a snack first. Made ginger cakes, jumbles and a very pretty pound cake today. Pigeo and Nan assisted me. Little Mollie is quite useful too in the way of carrying errands and receiving visitors when the rest are not ready to meet them. Hardie returned alone in the buggy. Liv went with his Uncle Edmund’s boys home, to an egg nog I believe.

Saturday, 22nd December, 1866

Quite a dismal looking day. Not so cold as it has been. Liv went hunting alone and was very successful. Killed 11 partridges & 2 old hares. Hardin and Bill were otherwise engaged. Jim left for the Piping Tree, after bringing some wood and they took to his place with the oxcart. Had ducks picked for tomorrow.

Friday, 21st December, 1866

The weather still intensely cold. – – The boys are hunting today. Killed some birds and four ducks. We have nine in the house, besides birds and squirrels. – – Nan rode to the C. H. this morning. Purchased a calico dress for herself and asked Ju respecting the pain in her side. He advised her to rub it with ½ doz. drops croton oil. Gave her a vial of drops to take. – – Patsy twisted some coarse knitting cotton for Pigeo and Nan’s stockings. I am going to teach her. – – Made a jar of yellow pickles and seasoned green pickles and mince meat, and at dark was tired and laid down at twilight and took a nap for an hour. Arose then and Nan and I sat up late. Had some hot coffee after the boys retired. Knit nearly to the heel of a stocking for Nan. The boys hunt all day and sometimes take dinner at candlelight.

Thursday, 20th December, 1866

The morning rather gloomy. Bill arrived to dinner from Will’s, had not been very successful hunting, only killed two ducks. – – Liv and Hardie have been hunting most of the day and only killed a few birds. The former went in the buggy to Dr. Lewis’ for Pigeo. They returned to supper. – – Patsy finished ironing before dinner. – – Jim sick today. – – Tom cutting wood at the woodpile, Washington ploughing.

Wednesday, 19th December, 1866

Still cold, but Washington went to plough about eleven o’clk. Jim hauled wood and Tom grubbing. – – Bill has not returned yet. Hardie calls his hogs and feeds them every day. – – Patsy starched the clothes and commenced at ironing today. – – Martha churned and made a pretty plate of yellow butter, and I plaited my new black dress differently. Took a part of it off the body. Nan is fitting a body for herself. She, Mollie and I sleep together now Pigeo’s away. – – Liv and Hardie are hauling again today. The former killed three ducks and both killed birds. – – Had an excellent Brunswick stew for them when they returned to late dinner. – – Addison has been cutting wood all the spare time he had today and putting in the office. – – Received a ticket to Miss Evelyn McGeorge’s wedding this morning, to take place tomorrow evening 4 o’clk. – – Looked for Bill this evening, but in vain. – – Let Martha have one yard bleached cloth.

Tuesday, 18th December, 1866

The weather quite cool. Liv and Hardie took a snack with them and went hunting. Returned to late dinner, having 3 squirrels and some partridges and doves. – – Patsy washed today. 12 o’clk. before I was ready to take my seat to work, and then as I had several sore fingers, I knit the rest of the day and finished off my second pair of yarn stockings for myself. – – Nannie made a coarse sheet and Mollie did a little piece of sewing also. I want to teach her how to work now she has vacation till after Xmas. Sent Mr. Cooke and Mrs. Harrison a basket of fresh meat yesterday by Tom. Received a nice note from the latter, returning their thanks and saying she would visit one day this week, if Jack would take her over. – – Dandridge came in yesterday morning to have some talk about what he would do with his family another year, thinking he will go to housekeeping. How much it will grieve me to be parted from my dear faithful servants I’ve been accustomed to so long and become so much attached to. – – Addison cleaned up the store room pantry and pantry closet today, after removing and covering over the last sweet potato’s. Do not know whether they will keep or not. We have lost a great quantity of them. – – Nannie has been complaining for several days with a severe pain through her left side. I hardly know what to think of it. Would like to consult Ju about it.

Monday, 17th December, 1866

Very cold and windy, still I looked for Mrs. Lewis and Nannie to comply with their promise. Nannie and Catesby came about 2 o’clk. Said they had been hunting for their carriage harness all day. They were all ready to start, and expected the carriage to drive up for them to get in, but no harness to be found. The rest were very much disappointed. The Dr. let Nan have his sulky harness and came in their buggy. They remained till after eleven o’clk., and Pigeo returned with them home to spend a few days to assist Nannie in making preparations for an important event. Gave her Shallenberger pills to take again tomorrow to prevent a chill, though I think it was imprudent in me to permit her to go out tonight. – – Melville and Willie Walker spent the evening also, left after tea. – – Bill went to Ju’s to supper in order to take an early start with him down the County to a hunt at his Uncle Billy’s. – – The servants, Jim, Washington and Tom have been getting and hauling wood. Will do the same tomorrow, and the next day Washington will go to plough. Hardie rode with Bill to the C. H. this morning for a carboy of spirits he sent down from Richmond the day before he came. They returned to dinner. Had an excellent partridge pie of birds Liv killed Saturday. He took dinner with Larkin today. Heard there of the burning of the dwelling house at our Mill, which took place Wednesday night after Banks and his wife left in the morning. Quite a suspicious affair.

Sunday, 16th December, 1866

Found the ground covered in snow this morning, but moderated very much. Was all gone nearly by 1 o’clk though it was some four or five inches deep. – – Had a fire made in the parlor, where they remained all day cozily seated, Bill, Liv, Hardie, Pigeo, Nan and little Mollie. When I found time to be seated, I retired to the chamber from the dining room about 12 o’clk. I went out between 1 and 2 and gave out dinner to Tom, with instructions to call Patsy. As soon as the rain slacked, fed my fowls and turned them all out, some 80 odd in number. Bill and Hardie came out while I was having them fed. – – Sent in nuts and candy to the children by Mollie. They all came in the chamber when lamp was lighted and while I laid down to take a little nap. Sung a good many hymns. – – No one wanted supper, but after Pigeo and Nan retired, the rest of us sat up quite late and I went with the boys down to get a souse foot. – – Pigeo had a severe chill this evening. She and Nan are so very delicate. I don’t know what is to become of them in these precarious times. If they were like some children, they might be some help to me in the numerous duties developing upon me, but I scarcely ever call on them to do the slightest thing, particularly the former. How often to the dear images of my departed children present themselves to my mind and like Ossian I may say, “Often like the evening sun, comes the memory of former times to my mind, pleasant, but mournful to the soul.”1 Mary, Rose and Bake were so different from Pigeo and Nan. I don’t know what cause to attribute it to, unless it has been from my too great indulgence to the latter. I hope a little more time and experience will make some change in them for the better, and they will yet repay me for the many sad hours occasioned by their indifference to my wishes, in many respects.

  1. Caroline’s adaptation of lines from Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Gaelic or Erse language (1790), by James MacPhereson: “Often does the memory of former times come, like the evening sun, on my soul.” (CONLATH and CUTHONA: A POEM.  (back)

Saturday, 15th December, 1866

Still cold. I went to the kitchen after breakfast and attended to the lard. Bill sharpened the knives of my sausage mill. – – Liv went partridge hunting. Ju returned with him, but would not stay to dinner as he has an engagement for three o’clk., so he left before I saw him. I was busy about lard. Sent Washington to carry Dr. Gregory’s horse to the Piping Tree, loaned Liv to ride down. Said when he returned that Hardie was at the Grove and would be down this evening. Brought his trunk down. – – Hardie arrived at dark. Liv returned with Ju and came while we were at supper. Hardie is looking well and more fleshy than I ever saw him. Traveling agrees with him.

Friday, 14th December, 1866

Still very cold and likely for snow, did snow a little. I cooked breakfast in order to allow Patsy to help about the corn. Raked up about a doz. __?__ chips and made Addison carry them in different rooms.1 Liv arrived from Richmond about 10 o’clk. Met Pigeo, who had just started on horseback to the C. H. and returned with him, and went again in the afternoon. He rode with her and returned at bedtime, having taken supper with Ju’s. – – Finished the corn this evening. Bill helped Jim to get a load of wood this morning and cut out the 4 hogs this evening. They have been too hard frozen to cut them out before, although killed on Tuesday. – – Had sausage ground in the dining room this evening.

  1. No page damage here, just a mystery. Click here and see if you can identify the chips that Addison carried. My first thought is that they are burned for heat.  (back)

Thursday, 13th December, 1866

Intensely cold. We are engaged all day in returning the corn to the house thrown out yesterday, and will take all day again tomorrow. Patsy’s assistance, and no wood at the pile. The time all employed throwing the corn back and forth and none shucked. – – Put down another carpet in the chamber this morning. Bill rode to the C. H. this morning. Mr. Abell came to spend the day very unexpectedly. – – Invited him in the chamber where there was a fire, it being so very cold. Enjoyed his society very much, reading the Bible and talking with us all on the subject. Bill came before dinner was ready. – – Gave Brother Abell the piece written by Dr. Edwards to read. He liked it very much and agreed pretty much with his views. – – Had a nice dinner for him in the locked dining room and was pleased to see him make a hearty dinner. Continued his subject on the Bible until time for him to start. Will preach at Acquinton tonight. Has an appointment at Bethesda for Sunday. Am sorry he is going to leave us, but he has spent nearly a month in the neighborhood, and I hope has done much good, and I think I may bid him God speed. His opinion should not divide us on the more indifferent portions of it. He wishes to harmonize and write all Christians on all important points and admonish them not to fall out about the balance, but reason together and entertain good feelings and a right spirit towards each other, making one body in Christ, who as the bridegroom desires a spotless bride and that one body must constitute such a one.

Wednesday, 12th December, 1866

Intensely cold. Bill has made arrangements to have some corn shucked out tonight, and accordingly employed Clarissa to help throw some out of the house. Tom is sick again today, the 2nd day he has been laid up. Has been complaining several days. – – Made preparations for 40 or 50 hands, but only five came and some of them were boys. Too cold, suppose prevented them from coming, which will give us a great deal of unnecessary trouble, but we know not what a day will bring forth. – – I’ve undergone a great deal in feelings in the last 24 hours, but I will try and exercise patience, fortitude and resignation, hoping and believing that I shall not have much longer to combat the ills of this life. – – Received a long letter from Zac by Bill last night. Came by mail. Put up my damask curtains in the chamber today, and trying to make everything comfortable for the cold winter blasts of December.

Tuesday, 11th December, 1866

The weather very cold and freezing. Bill had four hogs killed. The morning made it late doing so. Jim killed three for himself and Washington assisted about it, and ploughed about 2 hours afterwards. Jim brought a load of brush to cover cabbages and pigpen, which wound up the day. – – Bill attended Mr. Smith’s sale. Started ½ past ten. I was in the kitchen a short time attending to ordinary affairs. Had some Souslets head &c boiled for liver sausage.1 – – I am making some new arrangements in my chamber. Had my bureau, bed moved in the front chamber by Patsy and Addison. Carried the books in the front parlour out of the book case, thinking that a more suitable place for them, and made another use of the bookcase. – – Nan slept upstairs with Pigeo tonight and Mollie with me. – – I think it would be more suitable for Pigeo and Nan to sleep together all the time, but they will not accede to it, for reasons best known to themselves. – – Bill returned from Cohoke about 9, dined at Will’s. All were well. Addison milked this morning.

  1. Caroline certainly means what we call today Head Cheese.  (back)

Monday, 10th December, 1866

Quite a pretty day. Pigeo and Nan went on horseback to call on Nannie Lewis. Came by the store. Made some purchases and home to dinner. Mrs. Lewis’ family will spend the day with me on Monday next. – – By agreement, they will spend again the evening at Enfield and call on Mrs. Harrison, who has recently moved to the neighborhood.1 They returned at dark, much pleased to make her acquaintance. Patsy has been drying a little blk. yarn for stockings, but says the weather is too cold and unruly for it.

  1. Mrs. Harrison, formerly Ann (Nanny) Cooke, is the widow of Capt. John Poe Harrison who died in October, 1861 of typhoid fever contracted while stationed on active duty. They had three daughters, Ann Poe, Edmonia Churchill, and Susie R. Harrison.  (back)

Sunday, 9th December, 1866

A lovely day. Had breakfast very early in the dining room and went up in the buggy with Pigeo as far as Ju’s to take a seat in the carriage with the girls from Mrs. Hill to go to St. Davids. I went to Zion alone, i.e., Addison behind. I returned to Ju’s to dinner in order to take Pigeo home when they returned. Ju got from Richmond about 4 o’clk. We returned home to supper. – – Bill came later, having attended the night meeting at Colosse. Came by and took supper with Mrs. Lewis.

Saturday, 8th December, 1866

A little showery this morning. Addison did some spotting, cleaned brass, &c. Nan assisted me in casing sausages this evening. – – Patsy has been sick two days. Came early this evening to get supper, baked minced pies, &c. Hal wrote Pigeo a note by Robert Boykin to meet them at Ju’s tomorrow to go with them to St. Davids. – – Bill attended preaching at Zion this evening, four immersed. Returned to supper.

Friday, 7th December, 1866

The weather still good. Gus Hill started for home after breakfast. – – Washington still ploughing 3 mules. Jim hauled rails from the turnip patch to enclose the fodder, in order to turn the cattle in the corn field. Patsy sick again today. Had a chill yesterday. – – Had a mound of sweet potato’s put away in the garden, 12 hampers full by Addison. I sewed some on my black rep dress. It has been laid away ever since Bake left. – – Went down early this morning and put vinegar to my souse. This has been the loveliest day. We sat with a window hoisted in the chamber and the fire all out nearly all day. Bill killed two partridges before breakfast. – – Was in the kitchen with me and repaired the hole burnt in the floor, and nailed up the dresser, and attended night meeting at Acquinton. – – Returned at ten. Preaching at Zion tomorrow by Mr. Abell.

Thursday, 6th December, 1866

A lovely day, never saw such a spell of weather for work. Bill started Washington at the back of the garden with three mules to the plough to break up corn land for another year. Jim and Tom put away turnips, only two mounds. Had them put in the garden. Also had a mound each of sweet and Irish potato’s by Addison. – – Gave out some black wool to spin, but she was taken with a chill. – – Mr. Dunn and Bobbie came to receive the money for damages sustained by an ox killing his horse while his son, Bobbie, was driving them out of Enfield together. I thought it a very hard and unjust case, nevertheless paid him $70 for the accident. I had thought he would have been more conscientious than to have received that amount. If the animal had not been driven out by his son, the accident would not have occurred in all probability, as they were peaceable while in Mr. Cooke’s field.1 – – Gus Hill took Pigeo to the Acquinton Church to meeting about ten o’clk. Bill went to the night meeting at the same place. – – Sent letters to Liv and Zac by Pigeo to have mailed there. – – Nan has kept to her room all day and taken quinine to miss her chill. – – Bill, Pigeo and Gus returned at ten. They dined at Broad Neck. The former only attended night meeting.

  1. “Mr. Dunn and Bobby” are certainly Lee A. Dunn and his son Robert. Lee Dunn served as KW Commissioner of Revenue from 1861 to 1876. That Mr. Dunn seems to have retained his position throughout the War and Reconstruction begs several questions.  (back)

Wednesday, 5th December, 1866

A lovely day. Meeting at Jerusalem at 11 o’clk., and the C. H. tonight. Bill went to Jerusalem. Returned to supper, and he and Gus Hill in a buggy a piece took Pigeo and Nan up. Three additions at Jerusalem today. Mollie and I sat up till they returned. Gus and Pigeo were ahead and Leo would not allow him to come in at the front door. Had to drive around to the back porch and come in. Sent Tom to Mr. P. H. Slaughter’s for two gallons vinegar this morning.

Tuesday, 4th December, 1866

Very windy today, but mild and pleasant, with that exception. Tom put away cabbage, with Addison to assist him. Bill fixed a mound of the best cabbage first and the black radishes. He left me to attend to the rest, after preparing his clothes for him to take to Mill’s mill to be baptized by Brother Abell. My heart and spirit go along with him to the performance of the obedience of the “Faith.” No preaching tonight. He returned while we were at supper. He had taken supper at Ju’s. Found Atwood and Willie Walker spending the afternoon here. They staid till bedtime. – – Sent Addison there to bring the Irish potato’s Zac planted. They came up badly and consequently made very few. Bill dried them yesterday. Not more than 3 bushels. Tom and Washington finished hauling corn for Harris.