William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
9 Aug’t. 1864.
We had quite an excitement last night, about 10 o’clock I was awoke by the noise & stir about, I looked out and saw every thing in a bustle. I dressed and went down, when I learnt from the Maj’r Commanding the Reg’t camped around me that he had rec’d orders to get every thing in readiness to move at a moment’s notice, & await farther orders; after a little conversation I suspected it was only a prudential order under the apprehension of a Raid, and returned to my Bed, but did not undress, asking the Maj’r to give me notice if he should receive orders to move, & slept quietly until day Light, and found all still quiet about. The command having rec’d no further orders, they have again put up their tents & unsaddled & unharnessed their Horses & Mules, the Mules were kept in the Waggons all night, ready to move off any moment. Lieut. Osborne called to see me this morning & spent some time with me, he is a very intelligent & agreeable young man–the old Chaplain (Mr. Griffith) spent about 2 hours with me, affording me very pleasant company. He gave me a description of Col. W.H. Stiles’ House near Cartersville, he says it was not burnt as it was reported, but was much damaged by the soldiers & Robbers, the owner not being there to take care of it, much of the furniture was damaged & so was the Library, the bedding was thrown out of the doors by the soldiers to sleep on, & then left, he advised the servant who was there to replace them all in the House, as they were about the last Reg’t to pass, they would not probably be disturbed again, but the great enemy are the stragglers & Robbers & they come at all times & places where there was anything to steal, he said his piano had not been injured. What a sad demoralizer is War! During the afternoon an old gentleman called to know if he could stay with me for a few days, that his name was Taff, & was Chaplain of the 11th. Ken’y Reg’t Cav’y that he was too unwell to continue in active duties and desired to take a little rest, he is a Campbellite Minister, & seems to be a very good man. I told him I should be much pleased to have him with me, as long as he could stay, being greatly in need of company. I made Mrs. McClatchy a short visit. During the afternoon I had some conversation with Maj’r Carter, being the first of any length I have had with him, there seemed to be so little congeniality between him & myself either in mind or spirits, that I have had but little intercourse with him, contrary to my course with all the other officers who have been here– in this interview I found him to be a fair set off against our fire
eating disunion men at the South. With him as with them, governed by passion and not by reason; he considered all the Citizens at the South rebels, and as such had forfeited all their rights to life, liberty and property, and not only had the government a right to do with them as it pleased, but the individual soldiers had also the right to appropriate to their own use all they could find of Rebel property which would contribute to their comfort & gratification, the depredations comm’d by his Reg’t exhibits some of the fruits of his opinions & feelings. It affords me much gratification however to record the fact, that this case of Major Carters is the first instance I have yet found of such opinions & feelings in officer or private, after a free and extensive intercourse with the Federal Army for more than 6 weeks, and this single exception can have but little influence in affecting my very favorable opinion I have had occasion to form of the sound sense, good feelings & good conduct of the officers & privates of the Federal Army, so far as my favorable opportunities of determining has enabled me to do–it has as greatly amazed as it has gratified me to find no other exception to this noble feeling in the Federal Army–even with my previous favorable opinions of the North, I had anticipated many exceptions.
From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill