William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
22d. Aug’t. 1864.
Last evening 3 soldiers rode up to get shelter from the very heavy Rain, & remained with me until 10 o’clock before they could leave, they would have remained all night, but feared their Horses would be stolen, which I told them I thought was probable, they were very sensible men, they were very sensible men, & very anxious for this War to close, & asked if there was no way of closing it, but by but by wantonly killing off each otherwhen there was so little ill feelings between the soldiers & private citizens, they like all others hated the poor negro & said for their good they could never be placed in a more favorable condition than we now have them, but like all others they said the whole country would go to ruin if the Union was not restored. Mr. Fletcher called to see me this morning & spent about 2 hours giving me all the town news, as he has free access to & out of town, at all times, a privilege denied to me for about 4 weeks past. I have the range of the country but no access to town. He informs me that Sharper was misinformed about Mr. Benedict having been sent to the front, but that he was confined with Rev’d Mr. Hunt for some time in the Marietta Hotel under a guard, then they were both transferred and confined at Mr. Hunt’s House, under a guard, but recently Mr. Benedict has been allowed to return to his own House. While confined at the Hotel they were not even allowed to have intercourse even with their families–they offence was an effort to transmit Letters beyond the Lines by some one (he thinks Mr. Adams of Roswell) who intended to pass without permission. I am surprized that Mr. Benedict should have known that such an effort was in violation of Military Regulations. Mr. Benedict from some cause has rendered himself very obnoxious to the Federal authorities. Mr. Fletcher informed me that he learnt from D. Young, that the Federal Army had come upon Dr. McAffee, Sex Morris, Barrett, and many others near Decatur, and had taken from them nearly all they had, Horses, Mules, Wagons & provisions, running off did them so good. He could give me (through D. Young) no information of Bro. B. nor any of my other friends. Mr. Y. had stopped at Bro. Pratt’s at Roswell, & said all were well. Mr. F. says he thinks the Federal troops had abandoned Roswell, & that it was now in possession of the Conf’ts, & that the Federal Army was concentrating more to the right of Atlanta &advancing Southward. While Mr. F. was with me, a Federal Captain called in for a few minutes, he said the venom of the who army seemed to be concentrated on So. Ca., & if the army ever got there, he did not think they would be able to control their men, but they would indiscriminately destroy all property, public and private. I have observed their hatred towards that little state is very intense. So far So. Ca. has been more exempted from the sufferings of this War than any other State. My friend Mr. Clarke brought out for me 3 Letters from town, quiet a joy to me in my loneliness, one from W.H. McLeod & his daughter Julia on the same sheet, I will again write to them in a day or two. In the afternoon we made Mrs. McClatchy a visit, (Mr. Clarke & myself) and found her quite sick, & so was her son, & Miss McCullough not well, & not a servant nor any one else to assist them; their condition has often excited in me much sympathy–how sad it is that Mr. McC. should have left them here, I advised them to quit & go to Mr. McC. I think their sickness arises chiefly from care & anxiety. I understand that some of our scouts have been seen within 2 miles of her House, & this morning 1 was seen in the woods within 1/4 of Mile. I have today sent a Letter for my Wife to Gen’l Thomas, & at the same time made application to Gen’l Thomas for a passport to return Home [torn] get one short of 2 months, I will apply for one to go to the North. My [torn] an anxious one for me to remain.
From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill