July 27, 1864

William King Diary Entry

Cobb County, Georgia

27th. July. 1864.

2 gentlemen from Capt. Rankin’s train stopped about 8 o’clock & spent the night with me, after breakfast they left for Marietta. About 7 o’clock a Company of Cavalry under Capt. Shultz connected with Gen. Gerard’s Division came up & encamped under the Trees, they were just from Roswell and now passing around to the West. One of the officers told me he saw & spoke to Bro. Pratt yesterday, that they were well, & seemed to be getting on comfortably, that a Regiment of Inf’y had been sent to Roswell to remain on duty there, which would afford them protection. So soon as the men had got their Horses fixed, they commenced prowling about for plunder no doubt, I had to keep a close watch on them. Some had got into the kitchen and were taking off things, I made them replace them & leave, others had forced the cellar door and were overhauling, I made them quit & again fastened the door. Nothing outside of the doors was safe without close watching, but as I had weeks ago had every thing of much value, even the unshucked corn, placed within the House, there was very little to watch out of it, & the House & all within I could very easy protect even without a guard; I notice a number of men closely looking into the Box bushes in the circular garden, so thoroughly searching it excited my own curiosity. I said to them you can find nothing there, they said O Yes, we found some apples hid–their predecessors, I presume had hid them. After they had made a general search all over the premises, they seemed to come to the conclusion, either I had nothing to steal, or that I had placed all beyond their reach, and became quieted –during the day a number of wagons have camped about, and they think it probable they may have to be stationed here for some days. Also a Cavalry Co. under Com’d of Capt. Irwin, with a Captain Scott, a young & intelligent Irishman, and one with very just & liberal in his sentiments, all of them are agreeable companions apparently. Mr. Shepard came to see me this afternoon in much distress; he wanted a guard, the soldiers have been committing depredations, & so many stragling about him, he felt apprehension of further annoyances. One of the soldiers about me got drunk this afternoon, and became very unruly, all the officers being absent, the men could not control him, he broke into Sharper’s House & run him, he ran to me for protection in the House. I went out to see after one of his officers, but none were there. I got the other men to keep him from disturbing the negroes & to keep him away from their Houses, he is the first unruly & bad one I have yet come accross, but he was crazy from drinking, and I expect naturally bad,–he cursed the “damned Nigger” and said he would like to kill the whole race. He has greatly alarmed the servants. What a sad fate awaits the poor Negro race–the drunken soldier cursed them & said they were the cause of this war, the prevailing feeling of this army as far as I have been able to notice, is bitter hatred towards the poor negroes, and the officers having employed so many of them as servants about them, tends greatly to increase the hatred of the soldiers. Large trains of Wagons have been passing nearly all the afternoon towards Marietta & many encamping all around us, these with the many Cavalry command all about, require great watchfulness to guard against depredations. I get along with them very well, by mixing & talking freely with them, watching them, & keeping every thing out of reach, keeping nearly every thing in the House, & the doors always locked–to leave any thing exposed for a few minutes, is certain loss, such is War among civilized & enlightened men, and the men of our own army, from my own experience, are but little if any better. We feel a pitiable contempt for the natives of the Pacific Islands for their aptness & habit of stealing, they cannot well surpass the soldiers in the Army. Most of them to feel as if robbing their friends & enemies alike is a part of their duty as soldiers, & I think it probable many of them enter the Army chiefly for the purpose of Robbing. I truly wish all the advocates of this sad war could partake of my painful experiences for the past 2 months, to convince them of the Evils of War, & of my wisdom in having been so opposed to this War. They would be more reluctant in future to involving a happy & prosperous country in such a War as we now have upon us, but many of them will never have much personal experience of its evils & calamities, to understand fully its terrors.

 From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill


Dolly Sumner Lunt
A Georgia Woman’s Wartime Journal

JULY 27, 1864.

Major Ansley and family have remained. We are feeling more settled and have begun to bring to light some of the things which we had put away.

From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill