The importance of raising sorghum

The importance of attention to the cultivation of the Chinese sugar cane, cannot at this time be too highly estimated. The present supply of sugar and molasses in the Confederacy is not heavy, and is daily reduced. A few months more will, perhaps, suffice to consume it. As a substitute sorghum must supply the deficiency, and if every farmer will but take the pains to cultivate a few acres of the cane he will not only contribute to the production of a crop beneficial to the public, but one which will of necessity prove lucrative to himself.

Source: Fayetteville Observer, April 14, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org


$300 reward

Ranaway, on the 11th April, FANNY DAVIS, and is said to be taken up with Calvin Walis, and has made their escape and has gone to Wilmington or perhaps are trying to make for the Yankees at Newbern. The said boy is a free boy, a bright mulatto, round face, black hair and very dark, about five feet six inches high, and about twenty-two years of age.

The girl was of good character, and is about fifteen years of age, spare made, about five feet in height, slim face, blue eyes, dark hair. The rascal has a sorrel horse with a blaze in his forehead, and blind; also an old buggy. He may trade his horse and buggy. I will pay the above reward for the apprehension of them both – $200 for the girl or $100 for the boy, delivered to me or confined in Jail so that I can get either

J.W. Stutts

Gold Region, Moore county

Source: Fayetteville Observer, April 14, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org


Camp Taylorsville, Va

April 20th 1864

Miss Rosa Dear Friend

While I am alone and have nothing to do but think of you I will endeavor to converse with you by the way of the pen as I am deprived of conversing with you personally. But I hope that will not be the case all ways. We have been very unfortunate of late we both have met up with disappointments allthough we are not by our selves. Disappointments are very common espechely thes days. I am in hopes that the time is close at hand when all things may yet be well with us. Then and not till then can I sit with you and we can converse with each other and enjoy our selves together as I only wish. I think I know who loves me and I am certain I know who I love. So I shall not be discourage by eny means as long as you keep as high spirits, gay and happy. Cousin Rosa I wish we could have had a good chance of talking this subject over to each others satisfaction. I wanted to see you last but the wether was so disagreeable and cold. There seasons chance with out being satisfied and to tell you the truth. Cousin Rosa I would have to be in your secret company some time before I could unvale my sentiments to you as I only wish to do. You are the only Lucile I have met up with yet but what I could explain my sentiments fully with out losing the least regard ever when I begin to talk to you on a certain subject my mind all most becomes demorilism. This is so but truly it is so. I can not tell now cousin if I have said eney thing as two much on this subject. I hope you will be generous enough to pardon me. This morning is indeed bright and beautiful and the little birds are sweetly singing while I am sitting in the dome of my little War. But writing to you and listing to their sweet songs. Oh how merry they seem and how gay they appear. Welcome sweet spring, Welcome. Isnt it the most pelasant season of the year but spring would be but bloomy weather if we had anything else but spring. It is Saturday today and I am so sad and lonely. What would I give to see you now and have the pleasure of kissing those sweet little lips or grasping that sweet little hand. All of my messmates are gone down on South River fishing to day. They sint me word a few minutes ago that they had caught 35 very fine fish and they expected to fish all night so if I would come down tomorrow we will have a big fish fry. Myself and several of the Boys went fishing last Sunday. We had fine luck and a heap of fun.  We caught 260 fine ones. We also had a little fun last night by fighting a sham battle. My house is about 20 yards from the rest of the cavalry so they divided the company in two parts and handed one half over to me. We then commenced shelling each other with chunks of fish. The firing continued about two hours then we made a charge on the Yankees and we caught them and took them prisoner. There was very little bloodshed on either side. The captain got wounded and one private was two. It was the smelliest sight I ever knew to see the fish flying from one side to the other. Well Cousin Rosa it is now time for drill. I must close by asking you to excuse all mistakes you may see in this letter and believe me to ever to be your best friend and lover. My best wishers are with you. Farewell Dear Rose. Farewell until I hear from you again.

Yours with much love

Edward Richards

Rose I believed the true, and I am blest in this believing, oh I love thee sincerely and few have ever loved like me.



Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1.  Louis P. Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.

April 19, 1864

In my ride with Mr E yesterday afternoon, after visiting the usual objects of plantation interest, the corn planting, the ditches, the cattle, etc., he took a by path through the “forest primeval” called in negro dialect the “High Woods” & known on the map of the plantation as the “Brown Woods.” Very intricate indeed was our path, tracing the mazes of the “Saw Scaffold Bottom” & even with the help of the “blazes” on the trees would I often have been at fault, but Mr E followed it with the sagacity of an old hunter, he being a Master of Wood Craft. I can understand & enter into the old Plantagenet love of Veal & Venison, for a right of seignory over so extensive & unbroken a peice of woodland is pleasant even here in this wooded country where a forest is no novelty & deer are to be had for the “driving.” What it must be then in such a land as England where woodland can be held by but few even of the wealthy, and where game has to be strictly preserved. It becomes then an apanage of power and as such has a double zest. Our road lay through a thicket of Crab apples & a vast extent of Dogwood, neither yet in bloom. I could not enjoy the beauty of the former as I wished from the necessity of bending to my saddle bow to protect my eyes & my new riding hat with its pretty “Coq’s” plume from the overhanging branches. Mean to ask Mr E to take me there again a fortnight hence when both trees will be in blossom to enjoy the beauty & to inhale the perfume of the flowers & to be sure to wear my old hat with neither plume or veil. Mr Edmondston & Father are both a little “tete montee” on the subject of secret ditches. He told me whilst riding over them today that he had this winter put down ten thousand yards of it!

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979).http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html


April 19 (Tuesday) [1864]

Lying near the breastworks. Canister & balls flying rapidly. Our dead lying all about Fort Williams and Fort Magazine. I was detailed to take charge of a cooking detail and I had a good and pleasant time at Wagon yard. “Stripes” still wave defiantly over Fort Williams. The ram Albemarle clears the river of enemy vessels. Start back with rations at night. Hoke demands surrender of Plymouth, Wessells refuses.



Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1.  Diary of L.L. Polk, L.L. Polk Papers, Southern Historical Collections, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-CH


April 18th [1864]

I am very unwell this morning, but able to be up. I am all alone. My children have gone about eight miles in the country to see a cavalry regiment on dress parade. It is too cloudy and cold, but many of their companions were going and of course they wanted to, too. They little know the anxiety their mother feels about them, particularly our little Annie. She is a delicate child, so good and kind. Our boy is all we could ask him to be; noble and generous and endowed with more than ordinary intellect. They are Christians, too, both of them. Ought I not to walk humbly and thankfully before the Lord every day for giving me so many blessings.



Source: Myrtle C. King, Anna Long Thomas Fuller’s Journal, 1856-1890: A Civil War Diary. (Alpharetta, Georgia: Priority Publishing, Inc., 1999)


Camp near orange Court House

April 18th/64

Deare Wife

I Seat my self this morning in order to answer your kind letter which came to hand yesterday that wwas served the seckeon of this instan. I was glad to hear from you all and to hear that you was all well. I can you that I am tolerable well at this time I think my helth is a getting better than it has been for some time. I hope these few lines may reach you all and find you all well I haven’t anything of importence to write to you at this time only we will to know what minit we may be called on to leave this place.

I can tell you that the sack is yours and the straps is Caldwell. I can tell you that a visit to the 32 regiment see JS Crouse and the rest of the Boys that I was acquainted with. I can tell you that he was well and the rest of the boys and he said he was a come up to see us all and I saw Augustus Robinson he is in the 32 regiment in co B. Him and Lawson Witherspoon and several toerhs that I was acquainted with.

When you write again to me I want you to write some more about the farm you never told me how the wheat was a doing nor how Ammon Bumgarner was a getting a in of the cotton and what part he is to give you out of it or weether he is a picking any of the bottom off or not and I allsow I want you to write oftener than you have ben a doing the last letter was wrote this 2 and maild the 7 of this instant I can tell you that we air a enjoying our selves with our boxes I can tell you that the boys is all generously well and a doing well so I will  bring my letter to a close by asking my too littles gales to be good little girls and abbey your mother so more more at present so I remain your as ever

Issac L. Summitt to

Perlina Summitt


Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1.


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