Thursday, 16 June, 1864

Still cool. Bill sent Washington to the C.H. to learn something in relation to the Yankees. Heard a great deal of their wicked doings, but not much in regard their future plans. – – Sent Ju by Washington this evening 4 pecks meal and some 3 or 4 pounds butter. – – Hills walked with Bake home this morning and sat an hour or so.1Perhaps as numerous in the vicinity of Woodbury as the Lipscombs are members of the Hill family. Hill was a common given name as well. This is surely James Hill King who married Caroline’s sister Rosina Ellett. He is frequently written in the journal as Hill or Hills, sometimes prefixed with “Uncle.” Maybe Hills is a nickname. Caroline also sometimes fails to use the apostrophe when appropriate. Or it has faded with time. To minimize confusion, from now on I will standardize the spelling as Hill, adding the apostrophe when needed. There is no family named Hills in the local tax books or censuses at this time. Was very much pleased with the crop of corn.- – We have been informed this evening that the Yankees from the W. House are camping on this side the river. – – And that Sheridan’s cavalry are crossing over in the county.2Sheridan’s troops were indeed heading back into the area from Trevilian Station on the 16th. But it will take a few more days for most to return. Alternatively, these Union cavalry may not be Sheridan’s. We are all up late tonight afraid to retire.

3 thoughts on “Thursday, 16 June, 1864”

  1. I wonder how much 3-4 pounds of butter cost back then. And why didn’t they make their own? Were they well-off?

  2. Dr. Ju, while having a reasonable amount of land, may not have had the cows or the labor necessary to make butter in sufficient quantity for his family use. His mother certainly had both. In fact butter was one of the itms Caroline regularly sent to Richmond to sell. In a few weeks she will send about 100 pounds and get between $9.00 and 9.50 per pound. You must remember that in 1864 war-induced inflation was rampant with prices changing daily. It was a “sellers” market. But cash received in return rapidly lost its value.

    1. Thank you for the history regarding value in 1864. This information is not only interesting but provides another great example of what life was like, even on a plantation, with slaves, in the war era. Although I’m not directly related to Carolina, I am to her grandparents William and (Elizabeth) Ellett.

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