August 6, 1864

William King Diary Entry

Cobb County, Georgia

6th. Aug’t. 1864.

Last night we had encamped about us over 800 men, under t he trees, with about 100 Camp fires burning, with varieties of singing, sacred & mirthful, the Scene was truly a wild one, & while sitting on the Piazza with some of the officers after supper, I could but feel and remark to them what a contrass to former summers, when I and my family & friends were in the habit of sitting on the same Piazza, gently & peacefully enjoying the pleasant evening breezes, & now to be surrounded by the wild scenes of War, although I had so much company, the thoughts soon brought on a fit of the Blues, & I retired early to bed, and soon drowned my dull thoughts in sleep. This morning all is life & bustle again, all preparing for their breakfast. I have had much conversation with the men as well as the officers, all exhibiting good feelings, & anxious for this sad war to close, and deploring the necessity of 2 people so much alike in feeling & character fighting against each other; but that they cannot stop short of reestablishment of the Union. I this morning became acquainted with the Chaplain of this Reg’t (Rev’d Mr. Griffith) a Welch man but for a long time living in Indiana, he is a minister of the Presb. Church about 50 or 60 years of age. A sensible, pleasant & intelligent man, he tells me he will probably have services here tomorrow, much to my gratification, as I have not heard a sermon for about 2 months. I asked him to take a Room in the House with me, but he, like the officers generally, declined, saying it is better for them to share the accommodations as the privates, & refrain from the enjoyments of Luxuries & comforts, but that he will spend much of his time with me while they are encamped here. I suspected last night while we were all talking on the Piazza, from his manner & conversation, that he was a Chaplain. Mr. Shepard called to see me this morning, they are all well, he had no news to comm’e, but misery likes company, & situated as we all are, we make the most of each others company–he very anxious to get away, but cannot until he can make arrangements to get rid of his cotton, the same is Mr. Goodman’s case.

        Tabby has been working at Mr. S. for 3 days past, it has been raining hard all the afternoon; soldiers busy fixing up the tents to keep out of the Rain; the soldiers from Stoneman & McCook’s Army continue to be coming in, many have lost everything but a part of the clothes on them. It continued to Rain until bed time–heavy cannonading all the afternoon.

From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill