William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
10 July. Sunday. 1864.
I went to town but was informed that there would be no Church service. I saw Col. Gleason (Com’t of Post) and asked if he would allow Mr. Benedict (the only remaining minister) to have services in his Church he said no, as he would not pray for to Pres’t of the U. S. I suggested that he would omit that part of the service, he said no, Mr. B. was too unsound, that he was the most ultra Secessionist he had met. I afterwards learnt that Mr. B. for some days had not been permitted to go beyond the limits of his lot. While in town I met Mr. Eldridge and Mr. Bonfoir (the Sup’t Of the Roswell Cotton and Wool factories), they inform me of the sad condition of things at Roswell, that the factories had been utterly destroyed and they and all the operatives, men and women, had been arrested and were in Marietta on their way to the North, that with the exception of Brother Pratt’s house, every one of the houses of the resp. settlers of Roswell had been broken open and plundered and everything of value had either been taken away or destroyed and done almost entirely by the operatives, that the soldiers had committed but few depredations. What a comment upon the human character. They stated that Brother P. & Cate were both well, but very anxious and wanted to see me; and although I no less anxious to see them, I could not prudently leave here even for a day, with such a multitude of depredators roving over the county. I returned how with many sad feelings. What a world of sin we live in. I would not live always. The greater part of the day I remained at Home, in the afternoon I had much and pleasant company, some performing well on the Piano, others good singers, they refreshed me by playing and singing much pleasant sacred music. I told than not to sing Home, Sweet Home, that I did not want to hear it until I and my wife were within the same lines. Today closes one week since I have been under Yankee [torn]. I thank God that my experiences far exceeded my most sanguine anticipations. I have suffered but little annoyance, exclusive of the robbing by the stragglers last Sabbath. I have suffered no more from the soldiers of the Federal Army than from those of our own Army. I have mingled and conversed freely with officers and privates. I have not met a single individual whose department and language has not been gentlemanly, nor a word nor opinion has been expressed to me in the least discourteous manner. Although in many cases our opinions materially differed, we pleasantly discussed them. And greatly to my surprise, even among the common soldiers with whom I have also conversed freely, I have seen exhibited no exultant spirit nor expression at our army having so constantly fallen back; but more a spirit of sympathy for us, and simply a desire to avoid any expression which might be painful to me. All which I have seen compels me to admire the men–they do not seem to feel any hatred toward us, but speak favorably of our army and our people, they say we are one people, the same language, habits and religion, and ought to be one people, they have a higher opinion of the people of the South than before the war; and I am sure even an ultra So. Carolinian can never again say that 1 So. Ca’n can whip 5 Yankees, to have effected such a change of sentiment North and South toward the people of both sections, has been one of the favorable results of this sad war.
From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill