Well, we lived anxious and sad. We went to Richmond to see friends. I stayed often with our cousins the Bookers who lived on Clay street just opposite of Jefferson Davis, so I saw the Davis’ a good deal in their domestic life. Mrs. Davis and her sister Miss Margaret Howell, I admired them physically. They, especially Mrs. Davis, were very clever and brilliant in society, but her lack of innate refinement was too evident. President Davis was greatly her superior. He was as refined as he looked, always the gentleman. The children were very attractive. I saw them very often–Maggie, Jeff and Joe.
I was there visiting Cousin Carrie when dear little Joe climbed the railing of the upper porch and fell over and was killed. It was a terrible tragedy to the city. Horrible events were not common then as now, people had time to realize the horrors. Winnie Davis was born during the “Confederacy” in the Executive Mansion. The Davises are all dead now. Maggie married and may have children. I don’t know, she lived in Colorado. Jeff died of smallpox, unmarried. Winnie lived with her mother in New York City. She had a liberal pension from the impoverished Southerners, but did not care to cast her lot with them. She and the children are buried in Richmond, at Holywood Cemetary. Here I will state that the Confederate Monument in Soldier Cemetary was designed by a great friend of mine, Captain Charles H. Dimmock who married first Judith Monte of Baultimore* (Ernie’s mother) and second, my especial friend Lizzie Selden, a fateful friend and school mate who still lives and remembers me. We have corresponded for fifty years. But this is a digression. I do* back to my life in Richmond the last year of the war.
My sister Jeanie and I visited our friends, Mary Gibson, who was in the whirl of society, intimate with Davis and cabinet. So we knew them all. We did not attend festivities. Our hearts were too sad, my sisters death and George in hourly danger, our starving people. Not a day but some dear one was killed, battles raging around us. I could not approve of balls and parties and frivolities. We had so little to eat, our soldiers and prisoners on the verge of starvation. The south was blamed because she did not feed her prisoners well. How could she when all ports were blockaded and our own were no better off. No hand was given to help us, we were helpless, all our men had to fight and left the fields, nobody left at home but women, children and old men. If our northern brethren had seen another side to the vexed question. Possibly we were to blame not to compromise as many of our people urged and many in the North would have done. But our people, North and South were ignorant of each other and prejudiced and the politicians did all their evil hearts could do to fan the flame. Someday we will know.
Our people could not realize the cruelty in their hearts. Such men as That* Stevens, Sumner Stewart, I was once at West Point when Johnson, after Lincoln’s death, traveled through west and north with his cabinet. I saw them all as they went to lunch. I was invited to partake, being with a prominent party, but my heart was too sad and my feelings too bitter to break bread with them, so with tears I turned and left. This is a great digression again, but I don’t regret it for I might fail to write it later.
Our industries, our plantation were wonderful. We raised cotton, sugar cane, spun cotton and wool. We still had the sheep the Raiders did not get. We raised all crops and vegetables, but think of our large family and the army and prisoners and so many in the city, and 200 servants to feed and clothe. We put up an old fashioned hand loom. One of the women could weave, so she set to work and wove the cloth for their clothes, for towels, blankets, and sheets, We raised flax and she spun tablecloths and napkins and even beautiful cloth for our dresses. By this time our clothes were wearing out and there was no way to get any more. We had no coffee, no tea, no lights, We made all the soap we used, plaited straw for hats and bonnets, some made shoes. Some of the servants went barefooted and so did the children. We preserved and dried fruits, made starch, in fact did everything. I remember we used to go in the fields and for “Life Everlasting” to make yeast and sassafras roots for tea. We tried many substitutes for coffee, toasted wheat, sweet potatoes, etc. but nothing was fit to drink. But we did not mind all this.
Our servants were well behaved and loyal. Their minds had not been poisoned and they were attached and faithful. My mother did a great work. Our home was an Industrial School. She trained the young negroes in all household departments. We had carpenters, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, shoemakers’ shops. And the farm had horses and cattle, so the negro boys could go into any of these vocations. The young girls were taught to cook, wash and iron, to sew, spin, card and clean up. To work in the dairy, to milk, churn, and were often allowed to work in the flowers. We had a conservatory that was a joy in the winter, filled with exquisite blooming plants, and in springing summer our yard, a large one, was like Eden’s bower. My Aunt Martha Strother lived with us. She helped my mother in every department, was 14 years older than my mother, and like a mother her and to us. We were devoted to her. she was a model of refined beauty, of great intelligence, and the most devoted Christian, always carrying the Golden Rule as her guide. Our home was hers to come and go as she pleased.
She was our sympathizer in all troubles and the one to bind our wounds and bruises. She was our mother’s half sister, her mother was Martha Payne, her grandmother a Dandridge, so was a cousin of my father. They were devoted to each other, both living at Retreat. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Georege Woodson Payne. Aunt Martha was the niece of Mr. Payne. My father, the great great great nephew of Mrs. Payne, and their adopted son.
But I must go on with the war. I digress too often. The summer of 1864 passed. John at home from school, crazy to go in the army. We had visitors all the time, house parties, our city friends and wounded soldiers on furlough never forgot us. George, a bright and brave boy, happy in the army. We sent food whenever we could. Our army concentrated around Richmond. After Christmas I was still teaching. Jean, Joe, Edith Mercer and Strother was still our baby and such dear one. Jean and Joe were beautiful children and so much admired. My mother loved to take them with her, they were different. Jean as dark as an Indian, with splendid eyes and features. Joe was like my beautiful sister, same gentle disposition. I remember his gentle dignity with Jean who was quick tempered and overbearing. Joe never lost his temper and so they got on well together and were very devoted. Joe made some quaint little speeches. He broke Jean’s wheelbarrow, who raged aroung*. Joe finally said, “Jean, I told you three times I was sorry I broke Your wheelbarrow. Now I tell you, I don’t care if I did!”
Another time someone asked him, what is Christmas, Joe?
“A big turkey cooked in a long oven, and a whole lot of pizen things,” meaning pies and things.
There were no cooking stoves, and everything had to be baked or roasted in ovens. The pots swung on the racks. The meat roasted on the spit, a rod also put on the rack. The fireplaces were huge, often the whole end of the kitchen. I wonder what the present day darkey would say to that condition of things.
Every drop of water was brought from a distance, up a steep hill, but there were little boys whose only duty was to do this. They played, and when water was wanted, a bell summoned them. Another set of boys prepared food for the cows. Large iron kettles were used to boil food called a mash. Turnips, beets, and corn mean* was given to the cows when these boys brought them in at night. They enjoyed this nice hot supper.
All these home scenes are like pictures in my mind. I see the faces. And my life then is like a dream. All was pleasant and if there were unhappy hours they faded from my memory. I have much that I could tell of the home life, but I haven’t time, for it makes me tired. My back aches so and I am nearly blind. It is strange that I remember so much and there is so much to tell.
We had no hope and wrote to our friends in New York who set to work to find him in the Northern prisons. For four months we thought he must be dead and our home was very sad. In my absence in Richmond trying to get news, George’s horse was sent home by the Captain. I was not at home but the family told me how the horse seemed to know his rider was gone. He would turn his head toward the saddle and neigh. The servants, always emotional, cried and gave evidence of distress, When the saddle bags were opened and all his belongings so neatly packed, they cried out, “Oh Lord, why did Marse George go to fight them Yankees!”
The horse was a beauty and everybody’s pet. He was kept in the yard and many tears were shed over the missing Soldier. The fourth month my father received a few lines from George saying that he was a prisoner at Fort Lookout and had been ill and unable to write. He had been kept in close confinement for several weeks and was told he and others captured with him would be shot. They endured a great deal, were kept in a closet and could not lie down. With little food and guarded by negroes, they were offered freedom if they would take the oath never to fight for the south, which they refused to do. In the wee bit of a note my brother asked to have ten pounds of tobacco and invested in material for a restaurant on a small scale with the money which he received upon selling the tobacco. Then our northern friends found him and his wants were supplied. He remained there eight months and at last got away by paying the doctor twenty-five dollars in gold. He was greatly lionized on his return. He was well after a long spell and much suffering. He was home only a few weeks and then returned to his command. He escaped without a wound or further imprisonment.
John was crazy to enter the Army now, but was still in school, I think it was in Lynchburg in September 1863. We had soldiers all the time. They all seemed to enjoy our lovely home. It is impossible for me to mention all. So many of our friends were killed, a battle always meant sorrow. Sidney Strother, Ellis Munford, William Mean, John Jountaine and so many others. We had a visit from Philip Hazall who was engaged to my sister Mollie, a very devoted lover of hers and friend of mine. The three, Phil, Sidney and John Reeve were life long friends of ours. All dead and she too, and I am left to mourn their going away.
These were my three dearest friends. I corresponded with them from my fourteenth year all through the War. Sidney was the first to die and the others lived through the war and some years after John went to Henderson, Ky. and died there. Some years after my sister’s death, Philip Hazall married the beautiful Nancy Triplet, famous for her wonderful beauty and the episode of Meadecar and McCarthy duel. She was engaged to Meadecar who was killed. McCarthy was imprisoned for some months but was finally exonerated. This marriage of Philip Hazall’s was not a happy one. She died first and he finally died at Retreat, a sad life he had.
I am afraid my life will seem very disconnected. I write as I remember and often put things in the wrong place.
We had many girls to visit us, and some spent months. Things were narrowing down. Foods and clothes were scarce. We living in the country were enabled to send boxes to soldiers in camps. I remember many we sent. One to 2nd Maryland where our tutor Mr. Burk was enlisted. I had a note of thanks from Colonel Dorsey, also from Washington artillery, a Louisiana regiment. A number of officers were our guests. Captain Ed Owen and brother William Owen who after the war wrote a history and wrote of our home and the hospitality he and his friends enjoyed there. He died several years ago. He went back to North Carolina and married. He was a very attractive man.
I cannot attempt a history and will only give a few personal experiences. We were subject to Raiders at any time. We were never in the line of battle, But these raiders would search houses and take and destroy valuables and were boisterous and rude. My mother would have to meet them. My father took off the horses, negroes and sheep to save them. We had a private ferry, there was no public one, and he would carry his possessions across the canal and sometimes he would be gone a week. Our year’s supply of meat and lard my mother would divide among the negroes. She knew the Yankees never searched their homes, and she would tell them, now you take so many hams and so many kegs of lard. Remember, this is your living as well as mine. It was always returned just as she handed it to them. They were faithful and so respectful we felt we could and did trust them. All the time I was in charge alone in my parents absence they were respectful and considerate of my every wish. We had to hide all silver and jewels and valuable books. My mother used to hide the silver under the growing plants and wherever we could think safe.
So when the alarm that the Yankees were coming came, we would begin hiding. They never found our valuables. Several times they came so unexpectedly that we had to give all these things to a trusted servant. Once my mother hurriedly threw the silver in a common potato sack and gave it to our gardener to hide. “Hide it where you think it safe, Daniel.”
We did not see the silver for three weeks as the Yankees were in the vicinity that long and my father across the river. He would send the servants over at night for more food. Finally, the Raiders left, and of course, left little food behind them.
Another time, the most tragic of all, may mother gave the silver to a man, Alfred Brooks. The enemy were coming in sight. “Take it Alfred and don’t let them get it.” They came as usual, rude and drunken, rushing everywhere ungoverned. One of the officers said, “Where is Alfred Brooks?”
“Here I am, Sir.”
“Where is that silver you have hidden? Come now, no lies.”
Alfred said, “I can’t tell you sir. I promised my mistress to keep it for her. ”
The officer said, “I will see that you tell, and raised his pistol. My mother was so frightened she called out, “Oh Alfred, tell. Don’t let them shoot you!”
But his wife who stood by him said, “Don’t you tell, Alfred, because if he chooses to be a dog, let him shoot.”
The officer dropped his pistol and turned to my mother and said, “I could not shoot such a brave man, madam.”
She gave him a grateful look and said, “Thank God!” This was our last experience with Raiders. Our life went on, so dreary and sad. We knew how our soldiers were starving and without clothes. We saw our chance of victory was waning and our cause was losing. We had word of the death of our tutor Mr. Burk, defending a bridge in Halifax County, Virginia. He was instantly killed. We were distressed at his death. Our friends Stuart and Jackson dead made us sadder and more hopeless. My father, who opposed secession not that he felt that “We did not have the right,” but our utter inability to win and he felt every death a sacrifice. He thought our leaders would have seen the inevitable result as clearly as he did, but he was in full sympathy, doing everything he could until the day of his death when he was 88 and some months.
Abraham Lincoln was nominated president. We still held to the Union but when Lincoln made a call for soldiers and then set the negroes free, the manhood of Virginia, loving their state more than the Union and feeling that the U.S. had no owner, finally uprose.
My cousin, Robert H. Logan was at West Point in his fourth year, left with his other companions for their homes. They asked no leave and our U.S. soldiers, among them the General (then Colonel Lee) resigned. It is said that Colonel Lee walked the floor all night before he resigned and a sad heart decided in favor of his state. He and my father thought alike in politics but after they decided for their state they were heart and soul for Virginia.
Mr. Burk announced at the breakfast table that he was going to join the Southern Torries. We had wondered what he would do. He said his mother’s family was from Maryland so he would enlist, I think, in the second Maryland regiment. My father gave him his proper equipment. We made his bedding, etc. He was greatly excited and joined his company and regiment forthwith. We were all so busy, knitting, making shirts, etc. We had no supplies so we tore our sheets into strips for bandages for soldiers, scraped out linen shetts* and tablecloths into lint. We felt we were defending our rights. We had no hospital stores. At first we got on fairly well, but soon our little store was exhausted. We had no factories and soon needed clothes as well as food. I cannot appempt** from memory after fifty years to give correctly any statement, so I shall only give my personal experience. We were so interested and worked making shirts, pants, knitting socks, sweaters, and making bandages.
My sister and I went to Richmond, as we knew so many there. All the cabinet and their families and the President. There were many soldiers also, Richmond being the capital. They were frequently there. General Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee and company. I knew President Davis and his family well, also General R. E. Lee. His daughter Mildred I knew very well. We often sent boxes the first and second years of the war. After that we had nothing to send. Our hospitals were crowded and very poorly equipted*, so the people in the country established hospitals, caring for those wounded and sick and they recuperated. So as our Rectory was vacant, (our Rector having gone to war) we furnished it with cots, provided a matron, and each day two ladies of our Church provided everything for their day. We always went with Mrs. John C. Rutherford. They had sent us all we could accommodate. They improved rapidly and went back to fight and others came in their place. We enjoyed doing for these men, most of them from Georgia and North Carolina. Several were ill and only one died and was buried in our church yard at St. Paul’s Church.
This year in the summer my sister Mollie visited in Lynchburg and from there went to Lexington to see our brothers George and John who were at Virginia Military school. She had an illness which developed into typhoid fever. My father and mother were summoned to her bedside. My youngest brother was just a year old and had never been weaned. I volunteered to take care of him and urged my mother to go. My sister was ill many weeks and got so homesick the doctor said she would never get well there. So in December he let her come home.
My dear beautiful sister was so wasted and worn. I had charge of everything. Fifty hogs were killed and I had all this to see to. The lard had to be rendered up and there was a house full of company. My father and Aunt Martha all had to go to my sister. The servants did their part well and were respectful and obedient, so I got along. My baby was very troublesome for about a week and then slept pretty well. He missed his mother so much, I always felt that he was my child. We were always together. He graduated at sixteen and a half. He went to school to* me until he entered Roanoke College. After he graduated he went to New York where he lived, a bright newspaper man. After serving in the bank for two years he was a reporter for the Commercial Advertiser and New York World. He reported Gen. Grant’s illness and death and his work was highly appreciated. He was presented by the paper with a gold watch and chain with the inscription, “In token of services rendered.” My brother Joe has the watch and chain. My family was absent six weeks and then brought my sister home.
I will never forget her wan face and the smile she gave me the night she arrived. The fever left her and the Doctors Harris and James were more hopeful and saw no use to continue visits but in a few days she died of exhaustion. The doctors said I could not nurse her as I wanted to, as the little boy was so attached to me, and my poor mother so worn with nursing my sister I had to keep him in his waking hours, but whenever I could I was ministering to her. She loved me to run* her limbs and one night as I rubbed her she talked of her joy at being home. “Oh Anna, I am so glad to be with you, I missed you so.” Then she moaned and I arose and called the family in. She knew no one to speak but seemed to know we were all there. In a few moments she was quiet and her spirit had gone to be with her Savior she loved and truly worshipped. She was a lovely Christian, beautiful in character and lovely in person, as our minister wrote in her obituary:
Beautiful as sweet
Young as beautiful
Soft as young
As gay as soft
As merciful as gay.
She was greatly missed, being loved by both young and old. Her funeral I shall never forget, when she was borne to the grave by our slaves. I could not leave my boy, so all left the house. I could see them wind through the field, followed by so many friends, and all the children. After the burial services the servants who had borne and followed her to the grave asked permision* of Marster to sing, which of course was granted. The sound floated top* to me at the house, That night the servants came and asked me to come in the hall and asked to pray with Master and Mistis and the chillums. That prayer is still in my mind and heart. Those golden days were saddened when she left us.
Our lives went on. We had had a governess since October who was engaged by me in the absence of my parents. I watched her closely and did not think her efficient as a teacher nor faithful in her services, so when she left for Christmas I told her so and requested her not to return. It developed that she intended leaving in a few weeks to be married. I was glad she was to be provided for. Now I taught them. My sister Jeanie went to school in Richmond.
We missed my sister. Besides her lovely companionship she kept the house always bright with company. She was so greatly admired she was never at Dungeness that her friends did not crowd around her. Wherever she went there was a train of followers. Conditions were entirely different. It was no burden to entertain and our home was open door to all. A friend of my sister’s Mr. William Aunas of New York did not forget the hospitality he had enjoyed with us and was kind to my brother George when in prison. So was our former tutor, Rev. Wendell Prime. They searched for him and found him at Lookout Mountain. We did not know for four months whether he was living. Owing to illness he could not write.
My brother George went into the War the spring of 1863, joining the 4th Virginia Cavalry commanded by Colonel Harrison and was in General Litz Lee’s division. He was scattered at Fort Kennon, sometimes called Fort Wilson on James River Peninsula. General Lee ordered troops to go and stop negro devastations in that sector. He did not require his troops to go, but asked for volunteers. My brother and Mr. Sam White and many others did so. Mr White later married my sister Jeanie. After the fight my brother’s name was in the list of wounded and missing. I went to Richmond and General Custis Lee went with me to camp to see a soldier who had returned from the fight, who said he must be dead, for when he saw George last he was dreadfully wounded.
Another fall, the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church convened at St. Paul’s church. I was allowed to go very often, and though young, about 15 years old, I enjoyed the services. The number of Bishops awed me and I recall even now some of the sermons. I knew some of the Bishops, Bishops Meade and Johns of Virginia both grand in mind, manner and appearance, Bishop Johns a fine orator, Bishop Meade unique in his simplicity and rugged strength. I remember Dr. Dix of N.Y. and Dr. Hodges of N.Y. whose wonderful voice and elocution held all spellbound. I recall these personalities distinctly, and the whole thing made a vivid impression upon me. Thank God for these beautiful memories. I never saw a convention that made a like memorable memory. I think it was the next summer I was confirmed at Old Beaver Dam Church. At that time our church, St. Paul’s, had no clergyman so the confirmation was held there. I recall a little circumstance — when I tried to untie my bonnet, the strings would not untie. The dear old Bishop Meade saw my confusion and said, never mind child, just push your bonnet back. My realife* at his considerate kindness gave me joy then and will never be forgotten. Venerable old Patriarch, I wonder how many hearts have been gladdened by your ministrations. Read more
We had a boat and often visited our neighbors. Nearly all lived as we did, on the banks above the canal. It was a most delightful life, so free from care. The servants (were) happy too, so lighthearted and devoted to us. When I was old enough I taught them to read and had Sunday school every Sunday afternoon, which some did not like to attend. I always visited the sick and read the Bible and sang hymns. They used to say, “Here comes that angel child to sing for us.” Read more
In the fall of this year, 1855, my sister and I went to boarding school in Richmond. Mr. Hubert Pierce Lifefors*, who was trained to the Jesuit Faith and destined for their ministry, by some incluence*, I know not what, departed from the religion of his fathers, escaped from his surroundings to Virginia where he soon rose from visiting master to the head of a female school (Mrs. Meeds.) He was a most accomplished and elegant man, being physically and mentally gifted. He was the best educator I ever saw. He left his Jesuit religion behind him in France and was a devoted Episcopalian. He had a wonderful school, having pupils from Southern states. When the Civil War came upon us, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, but did not live very long. His first wife, Miss Mary Williams, was a relative of my mother. His second wife was a lady of Montgomery, who after his death moved to Baltimore, and had a fashionable school called Madam Lefebres*. My sister and I went together there and always stood at the head of the class, she first and I second. Our school days were happy and provitable.* I developed a fine voice, sung solos at all concerts and led choruses. My sister was a fine performer. We both played in all concerts. Excuse my part of this compliment, but alas, there is no one living to do it, so I simply tell the truth. After two years, my sister stopped school. I went two years more. It was the custom for girls to stop school at eighteen. Then when I reached the required age, my sister, Jennie, was out. We all three made many friends, some have been lifelong. Even now at 76, I have correspondents — Mrs. Charles H. Dummock, Lizzie Sedlen of Glancester County; Miss Sallie Coles of Albemarle, Mrs. Julia Randolph Sage — I have letters from them now in 1919. It would take a column to tell of my many friends there and probably interest no one but myself. Read more
The summer of 1850 my father and mother took their northern trip. I don’t know what they would’ve done without our dear aunt who was so efficient in every way. I remember their account of their trip to Saratoga, N.Y. and to Niagara through the Great Lakes to Montreal. I well remember the lovely wax dolls which they brought us. We never had many toys, as children didn’t in those days, and had never seen a wax doll. Our delight was unbounded. Those wax dolls, oh the joy they gave us. Read more
My Girlhood at Dungeness
I do not remember what year we went to Dungeness. I stayed principally at Retreat with Aunt Polly and my Aunt Martha until the death of Mrs. Payne when we all, Aunt Martha and the servants of the household went to Dungeness, as Aunt Polly gave my father the personal property. The estate Retreat was by my Grandfather’s will to be sold to pay the legacies to his nephews and nieces. The house at Dungeness was a plain wooden one with only four rooms. I always wondered why the Randolphs did not have a better one, but we lived in it until I was fourteen and it was then remodeled and greatly improved. One little incident which happened I have not forgotten. My sister and aunt rode in the coach and four, we, like all children were exuberant at the change. She clapped her little hands and said, “Us is gong to us’s house!” I corrected her and said, “That is not the way to say it, Sister. You should say, “We is going to we’s house.” So many years ago, and yet I remember it! Read more
Record of the family of James W. Logan of Dungeness, Goochland, Va.
Nathaniel West Dandridge married Dorothea, daughter of Governor Alexander Spotswood and Jean Butler. Son William married Anne Bolling fourth. Daughter Jean Butler married Reverend Joseph D. Logan, son James William married Sarah Strothers, Born 1815, Jan. 15, Born 1819, May 3, Married 1838, Golden Wedding 1888. Read more
William Dandridge married Unity West, daughter of John West of Westforth, niece of Lord Baltimore. They had several children. Nathaniel West married Dorothea Spotswood, second daughter of George Alexander Spotswood. Sons: William and Nathaniel West. Daughters: Martha, Elizabeth, Dorothea and Mary. Of these three daughters, three married Raynes, Archibald Philip and George Roodson Payne. Dorothea married first Winston, second, Patrick Henry. Read more