William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
25 Aug’t 1864.
Last evening after supper [torn] guard left me to go [torn] for his Rations, & to return in 1/2 hour, but as he was not back at 9 o’clock I closed up & went to bed, feeling some anxiety about him, this morning he returned, saying as it was so late before he could get off, he concluded I would not care for his absence & remained in Camp. I told him my suspicion was, he was affraid the Gray Jackets would come here at night & take him prisoner; his friend who was with him said that was the true cause, as our House was out of the Lines, he thought he was exposed at Night, he does not want to go to Dixie, as his term of service will be out within 4 months. He went to town this morning & brought a Letter from Bro. Ralph urging me to make them a visit. I went to see old Mr. Hutchins this morning, he was better, & then went to the Picket Station to hear the News & see if the Country Wagons could succeed in bartering their little supplies for provisions, the soldiers were annoying them much, having nothing but money to buy with, while the country people only wanted provisions in exchange, & the soldiers were troubling them much, before I left them however, guards had been sent to protect them, & Dr. Miller’s Ambulance had come up to barter with them. I left them trading after having spent near an hour with them. When I came home I found 2 little boys (Delks) who had come 7 Miles on the Roswell Road to exchange fruits and vegetables for food, waiting for me. I sent them over to Dr. Miller’s trading Wagon & told them to come back & let me know how they succeeded. A Col’n'l called to see me this morning on his way to the front & spent 1/2 an hour with me, being an intelligent & pleasant man, this visit afforded me a very pleasant 1/2 hour. The two little boys returned from their trading, with Sugar, Coffee & Bacon & ham, returned home saying they will be back tomorrow or the next day. I have been able to help the poor greatly in their efforts to barter off their little supplies for provisions, without some such facilities the poor must suffer from want greatly this fall & winter having had nearly all their provisions stolen from them by the 2 armies; when the vegetable & fruit crops are over, and their small stock of chickens are gone, they will be forced to live on charity.
A long & heavy loaded train of soldiers passed to the front today, nearly every day large forces pass in the Cars towards the front, & nearly as many returning, their term of service having expired. We have been living mostly on roast Pigs lately, the best we can save them is to eat them up, there is no protecting such things from the Robbers, they are all over the Country. The Col’n'l who called to see me this morning told me that the Thieves had stolen his Horse last night. They steal from friend or foe, rich or poor, white or black, they steal whatever they can get hold of, such is the demoralization of War.
Long trains of Wagons have been passing up & down the Road for days past.
I made a short visit to Mrs. McClatchy this afternoon, & met 2 poor women coming in to trade their little supplies. I advised them to go back a mile or 2 and return in the morning to trade & a Capt. who was there with me gave the same advice, they went back–to have stopped so near town, they would be robbed of their goods, Wagon & Horse.
From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill