William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
22 July. 1864.
Not feeling very well last night from a cold and some feverish feeling, I went to bed early, but had rather a restless night; this morning I feel pretty well again, my cold has pretty much passed off. May God in his goodness deliver me from sickness this summer, to be even unwell with my wife away from me and I so lonely would be sad suffering to me, but I must put my trust in God and be resigned. Major Flagg and his man left me this morning to go to the River, he will probably return tonight–with no other white person in the house but myself, I cannot prudently leave it even for a few minutes at a time, there are so many robbers prowling about in the day as well as night, they have no regard to the negroes. I have written another letter to my wife hoping I may have an opportunity of getting it off. I will continue to write regularly to her, although I fear but few of my letters will ever reach her–it is painful to be so separated without the means of communicating with each other how much more happiness were we permitted to enjoy, before this cruel, stupid politicians’ war was inaugurated!
Large droves of Beef cattle are this morning being driven to the front; the Beef which accompany the Federal Army are very fine, being large and fat, I learn they are mostly from Ohio–the multitude of dead horses and mules about is a great nuisance, about a dozen have been recently burnt within a few hundred yards of the House, and 5 more remaining to be done something with–war is a calamity to beast as well as Man; yet ambition and bad men will often involve a happy country in war with but little provocation. So God deals with his creatures for the sins of a few. Maj. Flagg and his man returned home this afternoon, but to leave me for good tomorrow. I heard this evening that Gen’l Rousseau had a cavalry raid as far as Montgomery and had burnt a part of the town, and that he had burnt the R.R. bridge at West Point, I asked if there had been any fighting there, yes, but not much, that Gen’l R. had 12 men killed, but no information could be given me of the loss on our side; how this intelligence overwhelmed me with anxiety knowing that our dear boy was stationed there with Gen’l. Capers to aid in protecting that bridge, knowing nothing of his fate, nor could I learn for a long time. How many fearful forebodings of evil will force themselves on my depressed heart, in God will I place my trust, he is wise and good, he will overrule all things well, whatever man in his wickedness and weakness may try to do, God will overrule all for the good of His children, could we only feel with true confidence that we were of the Household of faith how cheerfully resigned would we be to the many trials of life and be ready to depart and be at peace in Heaven, how blessed are the dead, who have died in the Lord–this sad, cruel war, upon whom rest the great sin of having involved this happy, peaceful prosperous country in it? May God deal with his accustomed mercy in punishing His weak and sinful creatures.
From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill
Dolly Sumner Lunt Diary Entry
A Georgia Woman’s Wartime Journal
JULY 22, 1864.
[The day of the battle of Atlanta]
We have heard the loud booming of cannon all day. Mr. Ward [the overseer] went over to the burial of Thomas Harwell, whose death I witnessed yesterday. They had but just gone when the Rev. A. Turner, wife, and daughter drove up with their wagons, desiring to rest awhile. They went into the ell [a large back room] and lay down, I following them, wishing to enjoy their company. Suddenly I saw the servants running to the palings, and I walked to the door, when I saw such a stampede as I never witnessed before. The road was full of carriages, wagons, men on horseback, all riding at full speed. Judge Floyd stopped, saying: “Mrs. Burge, the Yankees are coming. They have got my family, and here is all I have upon earth. Hide your mules and carriages and whatever valuables you have.”
Sadai [Mrs. Burge's nine-year-old daughter] said:
“Oh, Mama, what shall we do?”
“Never mind, Sadai,” I said. “They won’t hurt you, and you must help me hide my things.”
I went to the smoke-house, divided out the meat to the servants, and bid them hide it. Julia [a slave] took a jar of lard and buried it. In the meantime Sadai was taking down and picking up our clothes, which she was giving to the servants to hide in their cabins; silk dresses, challis, muslins, and merinos, linens, and hosiery, all found their way into the chests of the women and under their beds; china and silver were buried underground, and Sadai bid Mary [a slave] hide a bit of soap under some bricks, that mama might have a little left. Then she came to me with a part of a loaf of bread, asking if she had not better put it in her pocket, that we might have something to eat that night. And, verily, we had cause to fear that we might be homeless, for on every side we could see smoke arising from burning buildings and bridges.
Major Ansley, who was wounded in the hip in the battle of Missionary Ridge, and has not recovered, came with his wife, sister, two little ones, and servants. He was traveling in a bed in a small wagon. They had thought to get to Eatonton, but he was so wearied that they stopped with me for the night. I am glad to have them. I shall sleep none to-night. The woods are full of refugees.
From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill