ALD, The General Came Calling

This summer we had crowds for weeks and passersby, once for three weeks a regiment, all that was left off Colonel Stevensons Kentucky regiment. Our very great friend Major John Reeve was in this command. We had the horses and servants to feed and were glad to do it. Our friends were completely nonplussed. They could not go home. An old cousin, Dr. James from Lancaster, Virginia stopped by to see us and stayed several months. He came to Petersburg in search of his son, who was wounded at the Battle of the Crater and he could hear nothing. He could not find him at Petersburg, so came to us. Poor man, he asked anxiously of every passing soldier they could tell him of his son. After many weeks he had the news that he had died of his wound. There was no communication and nobody had any money, so he stayed on until finally my father let him have the money, $40, with which he bought a horse and left for home. We were sorry to see him go. He was my father’s first cousin, a clever mn*, highly educated, and an old fashioned Virginia gentleman. We met him afterwards in Salem where we both lived and our families were very intimate.

(man*)

We were especially fond of Cousin Robert, who was devoted to us anda* day never passed without a visit from him. He was ever kind and faithful until his sudden death.

(and a*)

In the fall of that year the boys, George and John went to Mr. Hilary Jones school, Hanover Acadany*. While there John was very ill, my motherhad* to spend several weeks there. There were no trained nurses then, but our dear aunt was with us. The servants were very good, much better than one could have supposed with the bad advise* given them. They remained and worked pretty well for a year.

(Academy*, mother had*, advice*)

In the meantime the provost marshalls, who were very common men, made themselves most detestible. We felt the injustice of this treatment and the indignities put on our President. General Grant acted the gentleman in his terms of surrender to General Lee and soldiers, but I see little humanity in loading President Davis in irons, even from the standpoint that he was a traitor.

Our future was like Egyptian darkness. Our father and mother were helpless, with 11 children, only two educated, and no income. The servants had to be fed. They could not go. The liberal Federal government failed to keep the promise of “forty acres of land and a mule”. So they were a great care to us. As we felt they were becoming a burden, we persuaded them to hire out.

Our house servants were so well trained and so well known, as our house was always full, they found no trouble in getting homes. We were soon with no help, and had to bring in our wood and do our cleaning. All the children helped. Everything was so hard on my parents. My father had no profession, having been a planter. There was no business, everything was disorganized. I shuddered then with apprehension and sympathy and shudder now at the recollection of its horrows*. No one gave the helping hand but our northern friends. One friend heard that our house was burned, and came to find us, doing all he could bringing food and clothes.

(horrors*)

Another New York friend sent us a sewing machine, the first I ever saw. It cost $300. Our southern friends resented our acceptance of these gifts, but had they been offered to them their viewpoint might have changed.

I wish I could blot out those horrible days. We were all so miserable. My parents found it hard to adjust themselves to the new regime. Berefit* of  every comfort, no money, no schools, friends scattered, labored, labor all gone, our beautiful lands lying idle, and we were on the verge of starvation. My father owed a money lender (a shylock) $10,000 which he had borrowed to buy a piece of land adjoining ours, which my father bought a few years before the Civil War began. He did not dream of was* and never doubted he could pay easily.

(Bereft*, war*)

The clamor for debts increased. The owner of the mortgage became insolent and advertised our home. I went to Richmond. General Stoneman was in command. I represented the case. He was very gentlemanly and politely listened to my tale of woe, and granted “Injunction”. I went home rejoicing that we had a home for several months. In the meantime my father had $30,000 owing to him, which was useless to try to collect and of which he collected $300.

Here we stayed. My mother wrote to her nephew Colonel G.W. Hansbrough, a lawyer, who refugeed from West Virginia to Salem, Virginia during the war. He kindly came and advised us to sell the beautiful home Dungeness and pay debts and move to a small town where there was education and advantages. We had a tutor then for the boys, a Mr. Norris who instructed well, but could not afford anything. John was an unusually clever boy and said he was going to teach school, so I set to work to find him a position, and succeeded in finding him on* in Virginious Dabney’s Classical school in Middleburg London County, Virginia, which he filled most successfully, and at the same time studied law with Mr. John Randolph Tucker. John was in Middleburg for two years, graduated in law and decided to go to New York , But I am going too fast.  George said he would rent the farm. My cousin thought I could get a school in Salem where he lived and invited me to visit him and apply for a school which would be vacant in the fall, a Mrs. Randolph giving it up to go on as a missionary to China. She asked me to succeed her and being also asked by the trustees of the school applied and got it, my sister Jeanie as my assistant. I returned home feeling very grateful to my cousin and his family for their kindness. He had three attractive children, Marion, Livingston, and Lila. The girls, aged 14 and 11 were to be my pupils. One very pleasurable event occurred. My father and George and John rode over to call on General R.E. Lee who was spending the summer with his brother Charles Carter Lee in  Powhatan County.

(one*)

They spent a pleasant day, and a few weeks thereafter General Lee and his son, General Custer Lee returned the call and took lunch. How delighted they were! My mother had the best she could in our poverty which was appreciated and enjoyed by these gentlemen. I sang for them and the tears flowed down the Great General’s cheeks evidenced appreciation most toughingly*. At the close of the songs, he said to me, “Thank you, my child,” as he laid his hand on my shoulder. I have often thanked God for that caress. I count it as one of my treasures. We sat in the beautiful hall and had such as delightful afternoon, of course so sad, all of us completely at sea as to our future, which we endeavored to forget in this never to be forgotten hour. As we sat with all ten of us and my parents eager to catch each word and smile, my little brother Strother played with the General’s gold spurs (a present). Strother was so pleased that finally was emboldened to say “If you don’t mind I wish you would give them to me”. The general leaned forward and patted the little three year old fellow on the head.

“Oh, my son, they have to be won.”

(touchingly*)

It was nearing evening when they bade us goodbye. My father and the boys escorted them across the river and a part of their ride to Mr. Charles Carter Lee’s. General Lee refused lucrative positions and accepted the presidency of Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Virginia. This institution was called Washington College, and afterwards the double honor of Lee was added.

My grandfather, Reverend Joseph D. Logan taught in the university when it was first a simple school. My grandfather was said to be the cleverest of seven brothers who were in the Presbyterian ministry, sons of Mr. James Logan and Hannah, niece of John Know. I once had the papers of Logan family, natives of Scotland, but they with the Spotswood, Dandridge, Strother and Clayton genealogies were burned in the Atlanta, Georgia fire, May 29th, 1917, a loss I much deplore. Again, I digress. I wonder if all old people do so as much as I do. I return to 1868.

About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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