William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
26 Aug’t. 1864.
Dr. Miller’s guard was affraid to remain with me last night, went back to his Camp & returned early this morning, they all seem very uneasy about the Scouts about, every few days some of these straggling men are picked up & many horses & Mules; even the men with [torn] trains coming daily to our Spring for water for the Hospital, are getting [torn] coming here for water. I went to see old Mr. Hutchins this morning [torn] better, I then went to the Picket Station & remained there about 1 1/2 [torn] The 2 little Delk boys had come in again with Peaches & apples to get flour, sugar & coffee, while some thief took from my Pocket the last Handkerchief I had. I gathered no news– Some of the women told me many of their neighbors are getting about as bad as the soldiers, & were stealing from each other. What a crop of thieves this war has produced. An old man told me that Greenlee Butler was very low & that he had come in to try & get a Physician to go & see him, I told him I did not think he would find one who would be willing to venture it, from the danger of being taken by our Scouts. The soldiers state that they we all getting on short rations, & that they can only buy with money. Mr. Patillo called to see me this morning and remained over an hour, having heard that I intended returning home, he stated that he also wanted to go in our Lines, that as he in common with others had been robbed of all his provisions, and as he was not allowed to buy anything nor to make anything at his trade (tailor) he would be compelled to leave here, that some persons from Chattanooga had informed him that even there nothing was allowed to be sold to citizens without a permit; & that he thought it was the intention of the Federal government to force all the people to remove from this country, & I cannot understand the cause for such stringent restriction, after they have been robbed of everything, not to be allowed to purchase even the necessities of Life; some of the soldiers say it is to prevent the people from feeding the Conf. Scouts & Bushwhackers–by such a course they will drive out good, as well as bad citizens. Mr. Patillo says if I will go out by Roswell & Lawrenceville, he would like to accompany me. I told him I thought of doing so & going to Athens, to avoid the cannonading of the Cars while passing out of Atlanta; but my mode will be greatly influenced by the terms of my Passport when I get it. I advised him also to apply for a passport & not to try to go without one, that I could not go with him unless he had a passport. It has been very warm today, although the night was very cool, butMusquitoes very bad.
Mrs. Brown made me a long visit this afternoon, giving me all the news she had heard true & false & telling of all the suffers of others & her own particularly, she is so accustomed to poverty however, it will be no new thing; she brought me a pair of Socks for which I gave her 1/2 Bus Meal, they having nothing to eat. I had previously this morning bought a pair of socks from a little girl at 50 cts. Mrs. Brown said she heard that old Mr. Barber & other Refugees had been overtaken on the South side of the Chatta’e and robbed of every thing they had–and that some poor woman on this side of the River at home, had been badly abused by the soldiers lately. I made Mrs. McClatchy a short visit this afternoon, all well, but bad spirits. Mrs. Downy (Mr. Green’s daughter) & Daughter came out from town this afternoon, to see if I could sell or loan them some plates & cups & saucers, as they wanted to take a few Boarders, the Robbers had left us so few I could not spare them any.
After sun down one of guards (Vickers) who had been front, stopped to make me a short visit, he says he was passing up in the Cars on his way home in Ohio, his time of service being out, & as the Cars were to delay 2 or 3 hours in town, he could not pass me by without stopping to tell me goodbye, so he jumped out of the Cars opposite the House, & spent an hour with me. Such exhibitions of very kind feelings I have often experienced from the Federal soldiers and officers.
From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill