William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
10 Aug’t. 1864.
Last night I was informed by Major Carter that as I was a man of great intelligence & observation, he thought it imprudent for me to have the liberty of going where I listed, and that for the present I must not leave the House without his consent, so I have been a prisoner at home since 8 o’clock last night–so [torn] punishment for being ‘intelligent & observing.’ It however changes my habits[torn] as for weeks past I have been but seldom out of the House [torn] affords me more attraction at Home. So if ignorance is freedom, it is folly to be wise. Maj’r Carter further enjoined upon me that I must not hold intercourse with his men, but could with his officers. This restriction I regret more than the curtailment of my personal liberty, as naturally and from habit, I am more fond of conversing with the poor and ignorant than with the Rich & intelligent–however for a while an extensive and varied library will afford me a good substitute for the company of either, being so happily constituted, I can easily accommodate myself to circumstances.
Mr. Shepard made me a visit this afternoon, & was detained by a heavy Rain, he informs me that Dillard Young had passed through the Lines & returned to Marietta & he heard had been asking particularly after me there. I should like to see him to learn something of my friends, but as neither of us can go in nor out of town now, we cannot have the interview for a while, he had left his family here. An officer told me today that some time ago he had read in one of our papers, he thinks a Sav’h Paper, a terrible account of the doings of the Federal Army in & about Marietta, and a most slanderous one of the insults and indignities to Women, some stript of their clothing and turned into the streets. I was in Marietta nearly every day the first 3 weeks of their arrival here & mingled a great deal with the inhabitants, and have never heard of a single case of insult or indignity to any female, had such a case occurred there or in the vicinity I know I should have heard it. Robberies were the chief depredations done, and much of that, as in the case of Mr. Page & other stores, was done by our own Army when retreating the night before, Saturday. I have heard of but little wanton damage done, & such cases mostly to houses left deserted; every effort as far as my experience extends, has been made to protect property by the Fed’l Army. I learnt a few days ago, that when Gen’l Thomas had the Thieves arrested at our House on the first day, he also had a Captain arrested, who was only a quiet spectator out of doors, for neglect of his duty in not having stopped the Robbers, and that he was to be Court Marshalled for his neglect of duty. I hear orders have been sent to burn the Bridge at Roswell, which had been rebuilt by the Federal Army, as they needed the Bridge no longer. I fear their forces are to be withdrawn from Roswell, and that Brother Pratt & family will be exposed to the ravages of the bands of Robbers pouring over the country. Lawlessness pervades the Land. O this War!
From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill