August 29, 1864

William King Diary Entry

Cobb County, Georgia


29 Aug’t. 1864.

Cool, clear pleasant day again. I walked out to the Powder Spring Road to learn what was going on in the big World. I saw an old Woman who had just moved into the Johnson Brick House (without doors or Window shutters) with her sick Husband & 8 children, she had come from Campbell County, to see if they could get some work to make a living, she thought they might be able to get washing & sewing enough to supply them with provisions to sustain life, the Husband she says was very sickly, & could do nothing to help. I will go & see him during the day or tomorrow. The poor are gathering thick in and about town. May God provide for them during the coming winter, trust in man is poor.

I heard that the pickets on the Dallas Road near town were shot at yesterday by Scouts, & a rumor that Wheeler’s Cavalry was uncomfortably near town. The 2 Delk boys came over this morning to barter apples, they got but little in exchange, & will not come again. I gave them some salt. They brought me a letter from my sister Cate Pratt, saying they were all well. I wrote to her by them. Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher called to see me this morning, she asked why I did not make them a visit, I told her I would like to do so, but prudents warned me not to go too far from House, for fear I might some of our Scouting parties, & although I could not in honor give them any information, still I might be unjustly suspected, & subject me to some annoyance, while I am here–and from the same reason I cannot make Greenlee Butler a visit, who is very low, and cannot last much longer. Mrs. Butler has sent today to ask me to make him a visit, but I do not go a greater distance than 1/2 mile from the House. I am not restricted in my movements about the country, but at liberty to go wherever I please, still I deem it best to remain near & about Home so long as I remain here. I like all the citizens here are strangers to the Federal Authorities & may all be suspected. Our Hogs are all gone I am affraid, nothing has been seen of any of them, for several days past, nothing eatable is safe out of doors, and our 2 last chickens have been missing for 2 days. A soldier remarked that often when their officers send them out on foraging expeditions for the Horses, they say do not take any thing more than you can bring off, by which the soldiers understand they are allowed to take everything they find, and can get, if they can only bring it off. The general & wholesale robberies which have been committed wherever the Federal Army passes, & which the officers so severely denounce by the officers is an enigma to me. I apprehend there are in the Army many Major Carters, who said to me that the soldiers should be allowed to appropriate any & every thing they may find in the enemies’ country, which would contribute to their comfort & enjoyment; & which Maj’r C. would no doubt allow & practice if he dared to do so, he expressed the sentiment while he was under the influence of Liquor, & probably then exhibited his honest convictions–he however, is the only case of such baseness I have yet found.


From Documenting the American South- UNC Chapel Hill