Tuesday, 21 June, 1864

Well, the Yankees have made their words good. They have gone to work burning and destroying. – – Roscoe Burke is said to have been brutally killed by them yesterday.1 Large fires in the direction of Zion Church. We heard it’s burnt, sent Washington to ascertain. He returned and said the woods were on fire all about there. Most of persons in the vicinity are ruined. – – Two gentlemen came from Richmond to cross the river, Mr. Brown and Mr. Bell to visit their friends in King and Queen.2 Sent them supper to the river, but our boat was not to be found so they came up and staid all night. – – Walter Hanes and Mr. McGill came just after we had robbed a bee hive and frightened us right much.3 I was so much pleased to hear from Mary. Bake has been in bed all day. Had another chill. – – Everything like {work} is suspended, both in the house and field. When McGill and Walter came, Bill and all the rest of the family, Zac and all left the house and went entirely out of hearing, thinking they were Yankees, and it was a long time before they returned.

  1. Roscoe visited Woodbury 11 days earlier. He was 28. Sergeant Burke, of Company H, 9th Virginia Cavalry is reported in his Confederate military records as being “killed by enemy” 1 July, 1864. Robert K. Krick in his 9th Virginia Cavalry, 4th edition (1982) gives his date of death as 6/30/64 but records no specific large scale actions for Burke’s regiment on the 20th of June, or 10 days later. Burke may have been detached from his unit and in King William when he was killed. This would account for Caroline’s recording his death well before word was received and recorded by his company.  (back)
  2. Misters Brown and Bell remain unidentified.  (back)
  3. Walter Hanes, about 25,  is the brother of Garland Hanes, Jr., Caroline’s son-in-law, husband of daughter Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Littlepage Hanes. – – The only Mr. McGill appearing in the 1860 US Census for the Richmond area was Right Reverend John McGill, Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond. McGill served as a chaplain to Confederate troops during the war and it is possible he was traveling in that capacity. However, that Caroline does not identify this Mr. McGill as such, when she surely would have known of him or have been so introduced, argues for a different, as yet unidentified, Mr. McGill.  (back)

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