ALD, The War Came

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.

(*sheets, **attempt)

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.

(*equipped)

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.

(with*)

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:

(rub*)

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.

(permission*, up*)

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.

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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