William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
1st. Aug’t. 1864.
It cheers me to know that a new month has commenced–how very anxious am I that this anxious & melancholy summer should pass away; and God only knows what better awaits us in the winter. I heard yesterday that the Pickets had shot a Bushwhacker near Kennesaw Mountain, they are getting uncomfortably near about, the whole county is becoming lawless, and will be moreso as the Army is farther removed from Marietta, their force afford us much protection. These Lawless Men, from all I can learn, consists of citizens, and Federal & Conf’t stragglers & deserters, they will attack any one, their object seems to be robbery. A soldier with his face badly cut up informed me today that while coming out of town at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, he was attacked near the grave yard by 2 of his fellow soldiers, beaten & robbed of about $18. which he had with him. Col. B. B. Eggleston left this morning with his Reg’t at 5 o’clock, he is a very good, sensible man about 50 years old, a farmer nearChillicothe Ohio, but his family just now being at Huntsburg, Geauga County, Ohio, to educate the children; he has a wife & 5 children, the oldest a boy of 18 years. I hope to see him again, his officers were all pleasant men. After the Reg’t had left one of the stragglers remained behind for robbing, he was a little intoxicated, and seemed determined to get in the House and desired me to open the door after he had looked all around & found he could not get in, I told him no, he replyed if I did not he would break in. I told him he would find that a dangerous business, in the mean time I had sent to Majr Riter for a guard. I kept him out of the House for some time being outside with him, finally I presume he thought there might be some danger, he quit. The guard (Cummings) come up soon after, the other stragglers about then left. It is over 2 weeks that I have now done without a guard, not feeling much apprehension of danger, but the stragglers becoming more numerous & daring, I think I will retain a guard with me; it will allow me to go more frequently from the House, without a guard I have to remain at Home nearly all the time. The servants will not consent to [torn]them to go to the North. It rained heavily this morning, the afternoon [torn] cool, but very dull & lonely– during the morning Maj’r Riter, N.Y. & Lt. Osborne of Ohio called to see me & remained about an hour, both intelligent & pleasant men, & invited me to make them a visit at their encampment. This afternoon I learnt that a small division (1600) men of Federal Cavalry with which was Col. Brannahan, had been defeated on the West Point R.R. and most of them captured. Col. B. & some of the men who escaped arrived here last evening; I also learnt that my friend Col. Eggleston & Regiment whose return I expected tomorrow, had been sent on a Raiding expedition; by these raiding parties all the growing crops in the up country will be destroyed–the heartlessness of War–
From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill