Wednesday, 31 August, 1864

The weather delightfully pleasant. Bill rode to Mr. Norment’s and returned, and I fixed up a snack for him to go to W. Point, getting up conscripts and deserters. – – Finished putting in my linsy and got it ready for weaving. Pigeo’s very much indisposed. Sent by the children to Mr. Brett Lipscomb for a bottle of his medicine for her to take, as she found great benefit from taking some while she was staying with Liv.1 – – She rode Shakespeare to Ju’s this evening. Sent Mag some loaf bread and Ju some sweet potatoes by Tom. They are very fine. Parky ironed today. – – The hands are weeding over the turnips of mornings while the dew is on.

  1. Sterling Brett Lipscomb, born 1823, married Angeline Ellett, a cousin of Caroline. Liv appears to be the same Liv Lipscomb who appeared 18 August. This entry suggests Liv belongs with the family of Brett Lipscomb. But the 1860 US Census does not list a household member with a given name that matches to “Liv.” More information needed to identify this Liv.  (back)

Tuesday, 30 August, 1864

Very pleasant today and a fine shower. Commenced peeling peaches to dry. Had them caught in a rain a soon as they were put out. – – Parky washed. Patsy’s with the rest pulling fodder. – – Pigeo made herself a very pretty straw bonnet today. – – Bill rode to Mr. Spiller’s and other places, and took dinner at Hill’s. Rose sent me some grapes.1 – – Bettie cooked dinner. Puss Slaughter came with Nan home.2

  1. Wm. Spiller, about 44, lived about 3 miles west of the courthouse, just north of Acquinton Creek, the old Webber Plantation. Today the home would have been at the end of state road 617. The Spiller residence is shown on the “Gilmer” Map, but not on the 1976 Garber/Wendenburg map. James Hill King and wife Rose’s home was Spring Pleasant, which conversely appears on the Garber/Wendenburg map, but not the “Gilmer.” It was adjacent to the Spiller residence. Today Spring Pleasant still stands and there is a Spring Pleasant Drive leading into a development on the property.  (back)
  2. Puss Slaughter was the daughter of P. H. Slaughter. Appearing in the 1860 Census as 8, she would have been about about Nan’s age. In 1870 she is listed as Henrietta, attending school. A decade later she is 28, a postmistress, a Slaughter family tradition.The transcription identified her as Priss.  (back)

Monday, 29 August, 1864

I arose quite early this morning in order to make an early start to Ju’s, having been sent for in the night. Mag was sick, but it was so dark and rainy, and I was so tired I couldn’t possibly go. Sent Dellah with Philip. – – Bill delivered forty bushels oats to Mr. Sidner, “Tythes.”1 I took Rose and Nan up in the buggy. Mag has a fine son born last night.2 Mrs. Slaughter and Mrs. Edwards called on her this morning.3 While we were at dinner, Pigeo sent Frank up to tell the Col. was spending the day at Woodbury. I sent the keys by Frank and a note. I returned home at sunset, took Stuart with me. Bill informed me that the Col. wished to see me on some particular business. Left before I reached home and will come in a few days again. Bill and Pigeo entertained him. He played his flute a good deal for her. Wished very much for Nannie to play with him. Left just before I got home. – – Nan went to Mount Hope.

  1. These tithes, one-tenth of the produce of the land, were taxes instituted in the middle of war to support the Confederate war effort. They were generally unpopular. See Confederate Impressment During the Civil War.  (back)
  2. This would have been the sixth son born to Junius and Mag in eleven years. This is likely Robert Stuart Littlepage, age 7, who appears with his parents on the 1870 U.S. Census.  (back)
  3. Agnes Slaughter lived about two miles from Oak Dale past Zion Church. She is listed as 44 in the 1850 U.S. Census. Amazingly she ages only one year by the next census. Her sister(?) Sarah does almost as well, moving from 28 to 33. The 1863 Tax Rolls show Agnes as fee simple owner of 70 acres 2 miles east of the courthouse. The Mrs. Edwards could have been next door neighbor Ann Edwards, young wife of Kleber Edwards who was introduced 13 June. But there were many other Mrs. Slaughters and Edwardses in King William.  (back)

Sunday, 28th August, 1864

Quite pleasant. Pigeo’s puny, but anxious to hear Cousin Lem and concluded she would go and sit in the carriage under the window. Bill sat in with her and fanned her all the time. We had a good audience and a most excellent sermon. – – Bill, Todd Robins and Cornelia Hill joined the Church and were baptized at Mill’s Mill this afternoon.1 2 We sat a while at Ju’s, and Bill drove the carriage down and sent Bartlett home on his horse to make ready to start to Richmond in the morning, but before we reached home it came on to rain and more than that, we found a government wagon at Woodbury and Mr. Sidner informed us that the Yankees were reported to be on the other side of the river.3 So Bill thought it best to defer going for a while, fearing to risk the mules and wagon. We reached home about ten, the darkest night I ever saw, but Bill drove first rate, led the horses over the most dangerous place.

  1. We first met William (Todd) Robins on 9 June. Cornelia Hill was Cornelia Todd Littlepage, daughter of Hardin Littlepage, Caroline’s brother-in-law. She had recently married Robert Christopher Hill.  (back)
  2. The 1865 “Gilmer” Map shows Mills’ Mill. It was located on the upper reaches of Cohoke Creek, a bit over 4 miles from Zion church. It was later called Valley Mill Pond, and was just off of today’s West Rose Garden Road.  (back)
  3. A John L. Sydnor, about 23 in 1864 appears on the 1870 KW U.S. Census. But he does not appear on the KW Tax rolls until 1869. Private Sydnor, Company G, 4 Reg’t Virginia Cavalry, was born in Mechanicsville, Hanover County and was severely wounded in October, 1862. Unable to return to his full duties, he may have been able to undertake other war-related responsibilities in and around his home. He was permanently retired in November, 1864. Or the titheman may have been someone else entirely.  (back)

Friday, 26 August, 1864

Had a beautiful rain last night. – – Nearly finished Nan’s Garibaldi today and cut out another Irish linen. It fits her beautifully. Received a letter from Zac by mail dated Headquarters near Loyds Essex County, Va.1 Also received two from Bake, one petitioning me earnestly to buy a place near Oakland offered to Mr. Hanes for $500 per acre, eighty acres. – – Bill will go to Richmond in a day or two. I will get him to look at the place and see what he thinks of it, not that I have any desire or intention to leave Woodbury.2

  1. Lloyds, Virginia is located in central Essex County.  (back)
  2. Had Caroline had exchanged her Confederate denominated assets for land in 1864 she would have benefited greatly. But there is no indication she purchased this property.  (back)

Thursday, 25 August, 1864

Pigeo has been quite sick all day. I made a mistake, it was today Mrs. Lipscomb was here.1 – – Cut out a linen Garibaldi for Nan and one underskirt for Pigeo, beautiful blue cotton. Dellah put a band on Pigeo’s chemise. First sweet potatoes today. Had letter mailed this morning to Bake and Liv. I went to the barn and had oats cut and feeding done. Went in the middle part of the corn house and nailed a piece across the window.

  1. This is the first clear evidence that Caroline sometimes back-dated entries.  (back)

Wednesday, 24 August, 1864

Quite a pretty day. Bill delivered one barrel corn to Larkin, returned to him out of the growing crop, with interest. Also delivered the part of Hillyard’s, making ten barrels I have furnished the county at $100 pr. barrel. – – Had the turnips in the pea patch replanted with white turnips. Fixed a snack for Bill to carry with him to Clements Mill to take those highway robbers in the persons of six deserters.1 Old Mrs. Lipscomb came, gave her some things. – – Sent the $150 loaned me yesterday by Nan this morning. I am right much indisposed today. Tried to put my linsy through the harness, but did not finish. Philip sent me Nannie’s shoes to bind. – – Gave Pigeo Calomel tonight and she was very sick during the night. – – Parky ironed some things this evening.

  1. Clements Mill was located about two miles west of Sharon Church at present day Central Garage. The impoundment was later called Manquin Pond. What is left of it is located at the west end of county road 1201, Terra Alta Dr.  (back)

Tuesday, 23 August, 1864

Quite a pleasant day. After Bill and I settled up some little money matters, I went up in the buggy to Ju’s. Took the school children, Nan and Rose, along with me and Tom behind the buggy. Sent Martha with a carboy to Mrs. Tebbs for some cider and she got a little, but it was too sour to drink. Mag and I sent her over to Hardin’s for some. Got a little there, rather better. She and I spent the evening at Mrs. Robins, or rather we called a short time on the old lady. I borrowed $5 in greenbacks from Ju to pay Mrs. Slaughter for a pair of blockade shoes for Nan. He also loaned me $1250 to pay Mr. Lacy for Zac’s saddle. Nan received a letter from Bake, and Rose one from her Mother. Met Mr. Walters with orders for Bill from Lieut. Haw.

Monday, 22 August, 1864

Fine growing weather. We commenced pulling fodder today. Sent Parky and Bettie out. Patsy washed some things. – – Mr. Tolston left with Bill for court after breakfast. Bill bought a horse of him @ $1100, a sorrel mare, right good match for George. The girls came about eleven, all four in a wagon. Mr. Pilcher drove. They spent a pleasant day. Left after supper. I like them all very much. Bill came from the C.H. about 1 o’clk. for money for my taxes, $324.66 cts. I also gave him $75 to pay Mrs. Lewis for onions, also paid a balance to Dr. Lewis on midclasses. Rectified a mistake he made against himself on settlement for the first lessons of Pigeo’s schooling. – – He invited some young gentlemen down to dinner. Mr. Baumly Martin and Mr. Pilcher, who remained till the girls left.1 – – Pigeo was quite sick while on her visit.

  1. This is likely Thomas Brumley Martin, Jr., about 19, the son of the late Thomas Brumley Martin and wife Frances [Boulware] Martin. They lived at Winterham, south of Acquinton Church. He likely was known by his middle name to distinguish himself from is father. His name is found as Bromley in the 1860 US Census, but is also rendered Brumley. Living down the county on the road to West Point was Samuel D. Pilcher. However he was 35 and married with a 4 year-old boy. They seem to be the only Pilchers living in KW at the time. Perhaps the Pilchers had a younger brother or cousin staying with them during the war years. Pilcher descendants are free to chime in.  (back)

Sunday, 21 August, 1864

Cool enough for fire this morning. Bill went up to Mr. Burke’s and the rest of us to Church. We miss Zac this morning. – – Met Pigeo at Zion. She had been quite sick while away. – – Cousin Jim preached.1 We left from there for the funeral at Mr. Burkes (Rosco’s). We took our snack on the way. Would have stopped a while on our way, but never like to intrude. It was too far to come by home. We would have been too late. We got there in good time. Mr. Sand preached a large audience.2 Pigeo went up, Nan, Rose and myself. Had a nice time. Washington drove. Arrived at home at twilight, went out myself and gave the horses meal and water before the boy carried them away. Found Bill and Mr. Tolston had just gotten in to spend the night. – – The girls, Miss Jennie Haynes, Miss Lee Lipscomb and Miss Robinson were at Zion and promise to visit Pigeo tomorrow.3

  1. At Zion, a proto-Christadelphian Church, where all the male members were titled “Brother,” there were no professional ministers. At services sermons were generally given by a “speaking brother.” Cousin Lemuel Edwards was so recognized. The term “speaking brother” is still used in Christadelphian congregations, which are called ecclesias.  (back)
  2. Mr. Sand also preached on 24 July at Mr. Lipscomb’s funeral. It now appears there is another possible Mr. Sand. Details forthcoming.  (back)
  3. Miss Jenny was likely Virginia Haynes of King & Queen County, about 17. Miss Lee Lipscomb might be Sterling Brett Lipscomb’s eldest daughter, about 18. She appears as Sarah in 1860 U.S. Census, Lue in 1870. Caroline will later write of Lou, Lue, and Lu Lipscomb. It appears her given names were Sarah Louise. If “Sarah/Lue/Lu/Lee/Lou” is indeed this young lady she will have a long association with the Littlepages. Caroline will write later of Pigeo receiving a letter from Mary Robinson. There was a Mary Robinson, about 14, nearby. She was the daughter of B. N. Robinson. Another Mary Robinson was the daughter of Samuel Robinson. She would have been about 16. Robinson was a common family name in King William and King & Queen. So we cannot be sure which Robinson this was.  (back)

Saturday, 20 August, 1864

Tremendous rain last night. The three soldiers left for Essex after breakfast. Had a place fixed in the passage for the wounded soldier. Been expecting Pigeo this evening, but the inclemency of the weather prevents her coming, I suppose. Sent a small trunk of clothes to her by Scott to “Mount Hope” for her to wear to church tomorrow, where I expect to meet her.1 – – I made a shirt for Tom while Dellah was about dinner. She is making pants for him and Frank. – – Nannie and Rose are as noisy as half day children ought to be. – – I rode George over to see the hogs and little pigs, a pretty parcel. Bill met me over there. – – Scott went along with me and prepared the bridge at the meadow gate before I could pass. The rain last night had moved a part of it. – – Sold Sarah another pound butter at $7.2

  1. Sterling B. (Brett) Lipscomb was now the owner of “Mount Hope,” the home of Lewis and Caroline Littlepage before they moved the family to Woodbury. It was close to Zion Church. Brett Lipscomb married Angelina Ellett, daughter of James B. Ellett, and thus a cousin of Caroline.  (back)
  2. Sarah seems to be buying butter for herself, not her owner, Dr. Ju.  (back)

Friday, August 19, 1864

A very fine day on vegetation. Replanted our turnips, both white and rutabaga. – – Mr. Tollston left with Bill for the C.H. after breakfast. Bill intended returning to dinner, but was unexpectedly ordered to Ayletts and returned to supper after I had finished. A wounded soldier was brought in to stay all night by two others. His name was Wheat from Essex.1 They were on furlough right from the fight at “Deep Bottom.” – – We are whipping the Yankees as they deserve to be whipped. – – Made some very nice molasses today of watermelons, it’s really nice.2 Transplanted Pigeo’s flowers this evening or rather removed them to other and larger nourishing and fresh earth more congenial to their growth. – – Philip brought the corn sheller this evening we loaned Ju yesterday. Gave him the leather for a pair of shoes to make for Nannie @ $10. – – Cut out a pair of pants a piece for Tom and Frank, also a shirt a piece.

  1. The soldier in question was undoubtedly Francis D. Wheat. He was the only Wheat in the 9th VA Cavalry. There were no Wheats in the 55th VA Infantry. Wheat enlisted in Company F on 11/1/1863 and deserted near Peyton’s Ford (12/16/1863) only to return to service in May 1864. He was wounded in service near White’s Tavern on 8/18/1864 and paroled in Richmond on 5/12/1865. Company F of the 9th VA Cavalry was from Essex County. (Thanks to Anne Jackson for the research.)   (back)
  2. One of our readers, Tina, suggests this website to learn more about watermelon molasses. And this one.  (back)

Thursday, 18 August, 1864

Fine growing weather. Bill’s at home today. Nan remained at home from indisposition. I am having jobbing done today by Bettie and Dellah.1 Bettie stitching a hand, Dellah gaged Nan’s Swiss muslin dress. – – Mr. Tollston from the Maryland line came this evening to spend the night.2 Flattering news from the Army. Another attack by Grant on Richmond, something of a surprise. Our Cavalry lost heavily, but the Yankee loss was very great and handsomely repulsed.3 – – Let Mrs. George have ½ barrel corn on Hillyard’s account. – – Expecting Pigeo and Lee Lipscomb with Mrs. Hanes to return with the school children this evening, but was disappointed on account of the inclemency of the weather.4 Rose returned to Mount Hope from school. – – Loaned Ju the corn sheller to be returned tomorrow. Sent Bake’s letter by Philip to be mailed. It contained a letter from Lilie to her and one to Mary from me, also one from Liv to me that I sent her to read, at the same time requesting her to ask Mr. Hanes to box up and send Liv 25 pounds best tobacco on receipt of my letters. Bill was to have carried it yesterday, but gave out going.

  1. Jobbing was a period term for work or working. All that is left today is job.  (back)
  2. There were several Tolson’s among the members of the Maryland regiments. Which Tolson visited Woodbury cannot be confidently determined. The Second Maryland did participate at the battle of Ream’s Station. See below. A Lieutenant Thomas H. Tolson was a member of Company C.  (back)
  3. May have been the battle of Ream’s Station.  (back)
  4. Liv is what was transcribed. A closer look reveals Lee Lipscomb. Lee will also appear a bit later.  (back)

Wednesday, 17 August, 1864

Bill made a start to Richmond, but on finding Mr. Walters had left with the prisoners, he declined going. Tac’s still making preparations for his departure. Had scalding and changing rooms in the two upstairs chambers today. Gave Bill Bake’s room and vice versa. The girls will occupy his room till cold weather, and I am in hopes to have the chimney run before that time and they will occupy it permanently. It suits much better. – – A little showery today. Pigeo went on horseback with the children to see Ju.

Tuesday, 16 August, 1864

The weather is more pleasant since the rain. Bill went up for the mail. Returned after we had dined. Brought me a letter from my dear prisoner Child. I am so delighted to see that he is well and is still at Point Lookout. – – Wrote to Bake and Mary, sent Liv’s letter to them to read and requested Mary to get Mr. Hanes to send Liv 25 pounds good tobacco. – – Bill received orders tonight, 12 o’clk, to take prisoners to Richmond tomorrow. Tac has been getting ready all day to go to Camp tomorrow. Went up to the C.H. this evening. – – Sent Lilia’s letter to Bake, she received by mail today.1 Bill will take them all down in the morning.

  1. I have not been able to identify a Lilia. But if Caroline wrote a Lilie it is likely Mag’s sister; Lilie visited and corresponded often in Rose Littlepage’s diary a decade earlier.  (back)

Monday, 15 August, 1864

Quite pleasant today, after the rain yesterday evening. Ju came down and spent the day to call on Mary and Mr. Hanes. Had an excellent pudding for dinner. Mary and Ju had a discussion on the loss of property by the Yankees. – – Ju left after dinner. Then Mary and I transacted some money matters. Paid her $94 for Dr. Power for “Shirley.”1 Settled with her for the greenbacks she sent Liv. – – And gave her money for the children’s purchases, and dress for Pigeo, two dresses and a pair of shoes for Nan and $52 for Bake. I went down and fixed up a bucket of butter, snack, &c and had supper for them to start home at sunset, though they made it later. – – Rose commenced school with Nannie today.2 Sent Evelyn McLellan one barrel corn and nineteen pounds bacon by Oby this morning.

  1. See the footnote for 15 July about Dr. Power. Shirley is likely a slave. The $94 may have been for Dr. Power’s medical services for Shirley, although that seem high, even with 1864 prices. Or Dr. Power may be renting out Shirley for the remainder of the year to the Hanes, Jr. family and Caroline is footing the bill. I have no explanation for the quotation marks around Shirley.  (back)
  2. Nan will turn 14 next month. Little Rose Hanes turns nine in 1864. Rose will stay at Woodbury for a while.  (back)

Sunday, 14 August, 1864

Still hot and dry. – – Mary, myself and all the children attended Zion. Zac detained us sometime. He and Mr. Hanes had taken a walk. Cousin Lem was there and his wife with him. They promised to visit us while they are down. We returned by Ju’s and home to dinner. Bill came from Richmond soon after. Had quite a refreshing rain with vivid lightning this evening. We all took a walk after the rain, going by the barn to see the shoats. – – Mary and I went in the barn to look at the wheat. The door has been unlocked for the last 4 or 5 days. The boys are too careless with the keys. There’s no knowing what we have lost by that this year.

Saturday, 13 August, 1864

Still dry and hot. Had my chamber washed and scalded, parlors cleaned, &c. We are expecting Mary. She and Mr. Hanes and Rose arrived sometime after dinner.1 Had early supper for them. – – Received a letter from Evelyn McLellan earnestly desiring me to let her have two pieces bacon with the barrel corn I promised to lend her.2 – – Bill started to Richmond this morning to take over Yankee prisoners. Rode a mule.

  1. It now looks like the Rose who Caroline sent a quarter on 1 July was her sister, not little Rose Hanes.  (back)
  2. Evelyn remain unidentified. There is a Mary E. McLelland listed in the 1860 US Census in King & Queen. But no one close to that name in KW in either the census or tax rolls. Handwritten Capital letters L & S were often written almost interchangeably. The transcriber preferred McSellan. It does not seem to be McClellan. If you want to help, click on the “Evelyn McLellan” in the post. This images is from the next time Evelyn’s name appears.  (back)

Friday, 12 August, 1864

Still hot and dry. Bill went to Headquarters in King and Queen to report. Rode George, contrary to my wishes, Duroc having been too badly used to ride. Returned about 12 or 1, I believe. Gave him a gentle rebuke. – – Finished my bonnet this evening. – – Pigeo and Zac rode to the schoolhouse to hear the children spell. Met with good many others there, invited to take supper at the Tavern. Returned sometime after dark. Nan walked as they rode. Frank brought her things. – – Had some tomatoes stewed today. – – Sent 25 watermelons to the C.H. by Washington to sell, proceeds $30. He returned before dinner.

Thursday, 11 August, 1864

Still hot and dry. Finished about the oats this morning. I rode to the barn after Nan’s horse came back, and up to the quarters to see Uncle Oby.1 I was too weak to walk.- – After breakfast Bill took a snack and looked up deserters on Duroc. Returned about ten. Says he has to go to Millers tomorrow. – – I am making a woven straw bonnet for myself. – – I rally slowly. Tom stands almost at one thing. 2

  1. This seems to confirm that Uncle Oby lives at Woodbury. The 1872 Woodbury plat shows “cabins” past the barn upriver from the house.  (back)
  2. “stands almost at one thing” is a phrase Rose Littlepage used in her diary years before to describe her sister Helen May’s condition, death’s door.  (back)

Wednesday, 10 August, 1864

The weather still hot and dry. – – I am very weak, but arose quite early and gave out meal for the servants. – – It is like hominy almost. It is so coarse. – – Ju came about 9 or 10. Brought Capt. Woodward in his buggy, a blockader, on his way North.1 Bill took him in the buggy as far as “Millers” on his way. We sent for some few things. After eating watermelons, Ju by invitation dined at Mr. Norment’s. – – Bill and Capt. W. left about 4 and he returned to supper. I enjoyed a bird for supper very much. Zac only killed two. – – Tom is no better than he was Sunday. His fever has kept up. Got Bill to get a little more “nitre and ammonia” from Ju last night as he passed the C.H. – – I’ve not called in a doctor yet. – – Zac attended to the machine in Bill’s absence. – – Mrs. Lipscomb came today. Loaned her a ½ bushel corn and gave her some things as I generally do whenever she comes.

  1. Blockader Capt. Woodward appears only once and remains unidentified. Probably a non-military ships captain. Not a common name in King William, Woodwards were plentiful in New Kent. Given the direction he was heading and they “sent for a few things,” it is likely Woodward was heading to Tappahannock and maybe after that Baltimore.  (back)

Tuesday, 9 August, 1864

Very warm. Zac has taken quinine yesterday and today and is much improved by it. – – Tom is not so well as he was yesterday. Has a slight rise in fever.- – I am very much weakened from effects of “Tartar.” Bill’s having oats fanned. Larkin came to settle Mr. Burke’s account. Paid $738 ½ principle and interest. – – Nan nearly learned “Hunter’s Chorus” and “Fishers Hornpipe” before she started to school. She has a sprightly mind and I hope it may be well cultivated. – – Bill rode to see what had become of Washington and the meal. They returned after ten.

Monday, 8 August, 1864

I rested tolerably well last night after taking Dowers Powder.1 They relieved the toothache as well as the disagreeable feelings about the stomach. Pigeo and Nan insisted on my taking a dose of tartar emetic as they had received so much benefit from it. I did so and was much relieved. – – Bill machined a few oats this evening, ought to have machined all day.

  1. Dower’s Powder was an opium-based medicine used to induce vomiting.  (back)

Sunday, 7 August, 1864

The weather very warm. Nan and I attended Zion. Bill dined at Ju’s. Pigeo remained with the sick crew. She is not well herself. We returned to dinner. Zac’s right low spirited, so I sent for Ju to see him this evening, just to gratify him. – – He prescribed for Zac and gave me some nitre and ammonia for Tom, who is sickest of the two, I think. – – After eating some watermelon and muskmelon, Ju left. – – I have not been well today. Was taken sick at breakfast table this morning. – – Sarah came for a pound butter this morning. I let her have it. It’s hard to avoid doing such things on Sunday, though I do not approve it.

Saturday, 6 August, 1864

Bill returned from Richmond to breakfast. Brought me $20 in Va. money for Mr. Terry, for which he had to give 3 ½ dollars for one. – – Zac has a rise of fever this evening. Tom has had fever all day. Gave him salts and broken doses tartar. I think in both cases they are threatened with “Typhoid.” – – Pigeo filliced a very pretty Garreholdi for herself.

Friday, 5 August, 1864

Quite a pretty day. Zac is quite sick. Gave him quinine to stop his chill, but he had rise of fever. Repeated the calomel, Jalap and rhubarb, and then gave him salts. – – Gave Tom broken doses of tartar emetic. He has continued fever. – – Pigeo’s complaining some.1 – – I cut out a Garreholdi, a piece for her and Nan of dotted muslin.2 – – Martha spinning. Dellah finishing off a chemise a piece for herself, Martha and Bettie.

  1. Perhaps this is a good time to note that we are now in the midst of the most unhealthy time of the year, in a place long noted for endemic and epidemic afflictions, the tidewater south. What Woodbury’s families, white and black, and probably their neighbors, were enduring were endemic, intermittent fevers – fevers and agues – of varying durations and intensity. In short, they display the classic symptoms of malaria. Seldom fatal themselves in the short-term, in the long-term the effects of these fevers and chills weaken the body and made it more susceptible to other maladies. It also sapped the mental strength of the affected populations. Readers will note that after the first cold weather these symptoms will appear less frequently in Caroline’s entries. They will reappear when warm weather, and the mosquitos, return. It was also the season for yellow fever epidemics as well as the poorly understood affliction of children running barefoot, hookworm. It will take another generation or two before the causes of these diseases – and others associated with poor sanitation – were understood, and corrective measures begun. Until then, no one was immune. And traditionally the mistress of the household was primarily responsible for care of the ill. Even with her college-trained physician son living a few miles away, Caroline retained the lead role at Woodbury in determining medical diagnosis and treatment.  (back)
  2. In “Garreholdi” that “h” is a “b,” the “e” an “i,” and the “o” an “a.” That would make it a Garibaldi shirt or jacket. Also see 1860s in Western fashion, the section on “Military and political influences.” Caroline’s handwriting is more clear in later entries.  (back)

Thursday, 4 August, 1864

The little children all started off cheerily to school after eating some watermelon. Sent a letter by mail to Bake. – – Bill went to Headquarters in King and Queen and returned to supper. Ordered to Richmond tonight in charge of deserters. Had bread baked and prepared a snack for him. Parky’s weeding cabbage, &c in the garden. – – Filled in the piece of warp Bake left in the loom yesterday. It will make very pretty bonnets. – – Zac had another chill yesterday evening. I gave him another dose of calomel and Jalap tonight.- – Had the five oxcart loads of corn brought to the house that we had carried off when the Yankees were about for safekeeping. Zac rode Shakespeare to the pen where it was, though he was right feeble. – – Washington carried an oxcart wheel to Mr. Houchings to cut the tyre.1 Loaned Mr. Henley 12 ½  bushels corn this morning. He will return 13 ½  bushels. – – Tom had a chill this evening.

  1. John C. Houchings is a local blacksmith and mechanic who has a machine shop on three acres near Acquinton Church. The property appears on the Civil War Gilmer map. The Houchings family had been established property owners in King William for a number of years. Over the course of this journal the Littlepages will do much business with Mr. Houchings. Caroline will often drop the “s” or the “g” when writing his name. I have standardized her spellings to Houchings.  (back)