William King Diary Entry
Cobb County, Georgia
1st. Sept’r. 1864.
Another month has gone, one more month & I may hope to be on my way Home. The rapid flight of time keeps my spirits up; I am so wearied of the long separation from my family, without being able to hear a word from any of them–if I only felt certain that I shall then be able to get a passport, I should feel comparative contentment in remaining here for a Month longer, but the uncertainty depresses me.
Soon after Breakfast this morning I made my call on Gen’l McArthur in town, the first I have met. I found him a very pleasant man, a Scotchman, about 40 years old. I spent over an hour very agreeably with him, but was disappointed in my hopes for Passport, he told me could not just now grant me a passport to pass the lines, that none could be granted now that their Army had occupied Atlanta, so I must be patient, but that he would give me one to go to the North any time I desired it. My disappointment was great, relieved however, by his kindly giving me a pass to go in & out of town whenever I desired, which will be every day I know, so I am now a free man again. My loneliness here was too great for me to quietly to remain, but town Society, as small as it is, will be almost a world to me; the Gen’l says to diminish my loneliness he will also come & see me now & then. I only made one visit in town, to Mr. Goodman, I found [torn] seeing nothing but blue sights ahead. I staid about [torn] him up, he walked part of the way Home [torn] he thinks I am a lucky Man in getting my Passport [torn] one else could get one; I have cause to feel truly grateful to Gen’l McArthur for his kindness, as I now be able to make free visits in town; a privilege which has been denied me in common with all others since the 18th. July. The regulations in town are very stringent & rigidly enforced, no citizen allowed to sell nor buy anything without a permit, & that difficult to get. Mrs. Cassels the Milliner near the Methodist Church was confined for near a month for having sold a dress. I heard in town that Smith, one of the Ros’l factory Wagoners, had been hung by our Scouts at Roswell for becoming a Union man, I cannot however believe the report, if he is hung at all I am sure it must be from additional cause, probably desertion. What a terrible sacrifice of freedom in our War for freedom– God only knows how this sad War is to terminate, & what is to be the state of the country when it shall have closed. I learn that it is too unsafe for any one to try to go over to Roswell, even with a government pass, from the Scouts, deserters & Bushwhackers on the Way. A man was robbed a few miles out of town a few days ago on that Road by some of the straggling Federal soldiers. What a state of Society to live in. I saw today several of the Ros’l fact’y People in town today working there. When going into town I stopped at the Grave yard to examine our Vault, as I had heard some time ago that it had been opened again, & the coffins also opened. I noticed that only the Boxes in which the Coffins were placed had been opened. What will some men not do to get money. I was informed that the vaults had also been opened in the Episcopal Grave Yard.
Rev. Mr. Benedict with his family were sent off to the North today.
From Documenting the American South – UNC Chapel Hill