Posts Tagged ‘funeral’

August 10th 1864

I have been to Person and spent several days very pleasantly with the children of my departed Sister Cornelia Thaxton. I feel that the Lord has blessed them for the sake of their angel Mother, the Lord will provide for them. I believe, I pray that they make shining lights in the church of Christ, they are all sprightly, promising children. I feel like their Mother is in Heaven. I met with several of my old acquaintances in Person, I spoke a word for Christ, I told them what the Lord has done for my soul. I done it in order to stir them up to walk in the way to Heaven, my soul was happy.


Willie Robertson died last night at 10 o’clock. Brother Gannon will preach his funeral at Union tomorrow. I hope this affliction will be sanctified to the good of his parents. We all have to be corrected and chastened to make us humble. The Lord is judging his people, he turneth man to destruction and sayeth return ye children of men, it is intended for the good of us all. I feel more faith in God, I have so many answers to prayer. The Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, it is my meat and drink to do the will of God. I delight in his service. I do enjoy reading the scriptures, and communion with God, who is my best friend, he hears and answers my prayers. My soul is happy, I will praise him with joyful lips, Hallelujah!!!!


Our quarterly meeting was held at Union on Sat. before the fourth Sunday in August, Peter Doub was presiding elder. My daughter joined the Methodist church on that day and was baptized by brother Gannon. I was very glad and thankful to our Heavenly Father.


My dear Willie arrived home safe last Monday from the army, he is in fine health, has a furlough for 30 days. Oh how thankful I feel. I have felt that I have been sanctified. I have the blessing of perfect love, I hope, my faith in God is strong, he comforts my soul and refreshes me by his holy Spirit, he answers my prayers. I feel that God loves me and owns for his child pardoning voice I hear I can no longer fear, I will praise him, as long as I live. Glory and honor to Jesus, he is my precious Saviour.


Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873.  #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html

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Henry family burial plots, Harrie Deaver near the end, before the fenced plots.

Henry family burial plots, Asheville. Harrie Deaver is buried near the end, before the fenced plots.

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Sunday 17th July 1864

My head not well this morning. I lay down on the lounge & tried to sleep but could not. Matt kept the flies off me. We sit up till 11 o’clock last night thinking perhaps Mr. Henry would come. The moon shone nearly as bright as day. They sung & prayed all night I think, at least every time I was awake. Yesterday & today have been beautiful days. They started to bury Atheline about half past one I suppose. She smells a little. There was a heap of negroes went on from here. They had plenty of company last night. Matt , Tom  & the children went. I was afraid to leave the house in such times as this. I sent for Mrs. Fanning to come & stay while I went to the grave yard but she has the headache & could not come. I then sent to know if Arbazena might stay with me & she sent her. They had not been gone long till Mr. Henry came. I was so glad to see him. I felt so lonely. I got him some milk & fixed his dinner for him & now he is upstairs asleep. Arbazena went up to the hotel place a while ago with Nance Warren. Nance came after her letters that Tom brought out yesterday. Everything looks very lonely. Atheline will never come to me again and ask what she will do. No never. They have come back from the burying. I received a letter from Sister Matt yesterday evening written the last of May (the 30th) a long time on the road. Mr. Henry took a long nap this evening. Old Boyd here tonight.



Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Saturday 16th [July 1864]

Atheline died this morning about half past eight. She went very easy. She died very easy. She was 19 years old last December 21st day. Jim takes if very hard. I have had the headache all day very bad but ‘tis some better this evening. Mr. Henry went to Camps this morning to identify his horse that was killed at Warm Springs last fall. I have done nothing today. I made a white bow for Atheline this morning. Mrs. Fanning, Betsey McKinnish, Fannie & Jinnie dressed her very neatly. I had a pair of my fine stockings & a nice pair of gloves put on her & gave her a sheet. She has been and kind to me & my children. I loved her for loving them. She died perfectly in her mind, told them all good bye last night. She was willing to go. I am glad she was resigned. She was nothing but skin and bone, looked almost like a skeleton. I think she had consumption. She asked for her baby this morning. It was asleep so she did not get to see it & when it awoke they took it to her but she did not notice it. She asked Jim this morning if he was not glad her soul was happy. Tom Tidwell went to Asheville today. Got me 5 lbs. of sugar for fifty dollars. Very dear. I don’t use it, only when I have headache. Mrs. Fanning got the cloth started this morning but wove none after Atheline died.


** Atheline (Slave owned by the Henry family) – Born December 21, 1844, married Jim on January 4, 1862, died on July 17, 1864 (age 19). Daughter of Aunt Tena.  Aunt Tena was purchased from Stacy Webb by Reuben Deaver on September 16, 1841 and sold to James R. Love with her children Atheline and Charley in 1848.  The family was then given to William L. Henry by estate of Robert Henry in 1863.


Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Extract from Dr. Hubbard’s sermon [on the death of George Burgwin Johnston]


I have thought it fit to present these reflections to your minds, because we have had in recent months not a few intimations of our mortality & in the past week, one which has filled with a peculiar sadness the hearts of those who knew him who was departed, best.

It is not our intention to eulogize the dead. When once, in the burial service, the benediction of the Church has been pronounced over the departed, she leads them in her master’s keeping, trusting in His words of promise, & His unfailing mercies. Yet it is well, sometimes, when our hearts are deeply touched by the loss of a friend, to retain the impression of our loss, & confirm our memory of the excellent qualities of him who has been taken from us. And surely there are not a few here present to whom the life of one as lovely & this early death furnish both admonition & example. To that end would I speak of him.

A life of only twenty three years is too brief for what the world would call the achievement of great things. It is then that the elements of the character are arranging themselves around those centres which are to determine all its energy & activities in the future. This early period is the season of hopes, of plans, of discipline, of preparation, when the muscles of the soul are developed, its strength maturing. And it is because, in the death of our late friend, so rich hopes have been extinguished, a training so admirable cut off from all its results, that we grieve over our share in his loss so deeply.

Capt. Johnson seems to have had a rare constitution of nature always amiable, & affectionate, always firm in duty, safety & generous in all his impulses & purposes; from his very childhood to have exhibited those traits which in later years won so entirely the regards of those who knew him. As a student of the University he was faithful in every relation, to his teachers, to his fellows, to himself. No appointed service was left undone, & each & all well done. His acknowledged superiority in talents & attainments excited no envy in others, no pride in himself: while his upright manly bearing gained for him from every quarter respect & confidence. Few young men have for many years left College with purer name, or with brighter prospects of usefulness & distinctions. When he became a teacher, all that was anticipated for him was realized; popular because he was faithful, & successful because he was in earnest, & creating everywhere esteem & affection by his transparent unselfishness & purity of heart. The same qualities he carried into his brief soldier-life, & these for they earned like rewards.

The crowning beauty of his character, & the source of all his rare excellencies, was his christian faith. Trained in christian duty, from early life, there seems to have been no time when the light of Heaven did not shine on him, & he grew up in the purpose of consecration to God, & so all along to the end dwell in that peculiar calmness & peace, which comes from a pure conscious, & an obedient heart, & the superadded grace of the Spirit.

Loving much, he was loved much. Patient and submissive he was gently carried in the arms of the Great Shepherd. He was strengthened from above to lead, what many who hear one will join me in calling a most exemplary & consistent life, & so received that gift, almost more excellent, of consolation & an arm to lean on in his long passage through the valley of the shadows of death.  “Not my will, but thine be done” was in those trying hours, the language of his heart & lips,& can we doubt that the humble disciple thus following in word & spirit The blessed Master is this day “with Him, to go out no more from him forever”?


April 10th 1864.


Source: George Burgwin Johnston Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh as found on www.ncecho.org.

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March 5, 1864

Saturday — Have had a busy week, having been since Tuesday out at Hascosea gardening. I have used the scissors & prunning knife so much that my hand is actually sore & so disfigured with scratches that it makes me laugh to look at it. Went on Friday to attend to poor Tom’s grave. I had a rustic cross of cedar made for the head stone which will I hope before the summer is over be covered with ivy and had the grave itself covered with ivy, thinking that better than turf. I carried some evergreens but found that they would interfere with the general plan of the Cemetery, so gave them to Mrs Smith to be used at her discretion. I found her there superintending some workmen engaged in preparing the earth for placing a fine collection of evergreens which Mr Cheshire was to bring in the afternoon. Went to see Mrs Spruill, poor woman, & had a rapid canter home & found Mr E engaged in plans for the capture of Cumbo, Hoody Manuel, & some white men who are lurking about Mr. Johnston’s & father’s plantation. Today he had quite a levee in the dining room at Hascosea & came home to Looking Glass “a toute bride”  to meet some other (Northampton) men here & tonight he is off posting guards & looking about for them.

We missed several mails whilst out at Hascosea & stirring times indeed has the Confederacy passed through. On the 29th Gen Lee telegraphed from Orange Court House that the enemy’s Cavalry were moving on both his flanks, that one column had gone in the direction of Fredericks’ Hall on the Central Road & the other in that of Charlottsville. On this all the defences available were brought into action. The Richmond Clerks (Government) were called out & measures taken to intercept the marauders, for such only are they to be termed, for their object seemed to be only negroes and horses, their errand to burn & to steal. They divided themselves into several parties, each seeming to vie with the other, Kilpatrick in command, he the prince of theives! But I beg Gen Butler’s pardon! No one can out rank him in that line. One division pursued almost the same route as that taken by the Raiders last summer, through Goochland, past Hanover, & thence across the Pamunky. They burned Mr Morson’s house, barn, & outhouse, sacking & plundering as they listed & then going to his neighbor and brother in law Sec Seddon’s,  they burned his barns and provisions, only leaving the residence. One troop came within 2½ miles of Richmond, to the house of Mr John Young, & ordered dinner & there remained for two or three hours, making their band (a fine one) play for them. They were, contrary to the usual custom very polite & did no damage but made fine speeches to the ladies, & apologized for taking the mules & horses Mr Y being from home, fortunately for him, at the time.

This, (Kilpatrick’s) Division, came down to Battery no 9 of the Richmond Defences & threw several shells at long range at it, but none of them came close enough to do any damage save to Mother Earth who received them in [her] bosom — Iron seed which I hope will be repaid with interest by her children! At night Gen Hampton with the 1st N C Cav & a portion of another Regt surprised & drove them from their camp in great confusion; he was too weak to follow, they having 3500 men. This was at Atlee’s Station. Gen H took many prisoners & horses. During Tuesday night one hundred & thirty eight prisoners were brought in representing twelve Regts of Cav. They had beside two Brigades of light Artillery, but it were long to follow the track of each party, the same tale is stamped in the pathway of all. Col Bradley Johnson repulsed them at Hanover. Maj Beckham with his Horse Artillery drove them back when within two miles of Charlottesville.

The account sums up on our side The Insult!! several Mills burned, many negroes, mules, & horses captured, private dwellings burned, provisions destroyed, women & children frightened, Capt Ellery of the Richmond Bat killed, & several men slightly wounded; on theirs — their failure to take Richmond!! between three & four hundred men captured including several officers from Lieut Col down, two or three hundred killed, & many severely wounded & left at houses on the way, several peices of field artillery, many mules & horses, eighty or a hundred horse accoutrements, McClellan saddles, etc., captured, their horses thoroughly jaded & broken down so that they are unfit for service, & their men (mostly Dutch) demoralized & dispersed. So say Journal, on whose side is the balance?

Gen Finnegans’ victory in Florida appears much more important than we had supposed. It seems it was intended by the Yankees to take possession of the State or such portion of it as should enable them to claim that it cast its vote for them in the Presidential Election. They landed at Jacksonville & came on unmolested to Ocean Ponds (on old maps called Alligator) where Finnegan met them with a small body of Georgians & Floridians, about one third their own number. They put two Regts of Black troops in their van, driving them on at the point of the bayonette. They were met by the 19th Georg. & the slaughter was terrific; carnage such as even this bloody war has rarely witnessed. As we advanced they retreated & for miles the earth was strewed with dead negroes. Then came the whites — & spite of their immense odds — 10,000 to 3,500 — so dreadful was the onslaught that they broke & fled. There was more dead on the field than Confederates in action. We lost sixty only killed & between six and seven hundred wounded mostly, however, slightly so, the negroes shooting wild & the Yankees occupied hiding behind & driving them on. At the last accounts the scattered remnants of the Yankee force was running to their “Gun Boats.” Sherman’s late advance upon Polk’s lines seems to have been intended as a ruse to draw troops from Johnston. A heavy advance has been made from Chattanooga upon Dalton & from all that we can learn from prisoners & Yankee papers Johnston was expected to “fall back,” but he did not come up to their expectations, when Grant not wishing to bring on a general engagement “fell back” — disappointed himself. Long-street is making some movements in West Tennessee which the papers grow eloquent in entreating us not to despond at. “It all means well, tho he seems to retire,” may-be-so, but we will wait until we learn more. The seige of Charleston flags & the Yankee Press is sick of it & says it ought to be abandoned “Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle.”  They now pronounce their famous “Greek Fire” a humbug, “attended with more danger to the projectors than to the projected against.” No wisdom like that gained by experience, O most sapient Yankee nation.

Mosby has performed a brilliant exploit; promotion, it seems, has not spoiled him. He attacked a body of the enemy one hundred & eighty strong, routed them, killing fifteen, wounding many more, capturing seventy with horses, arms, equipments, etc., with a loss to himself of one killed, 4 slightly wounded; & on the 26th near Upperville with 60 men he attacked 250 of the enemy’s Cavalry who retreated before him leaving six (one Captain) dead on the field and one Lieut & seven Privates in Mosby’s hands. The number of their wounded was so great that they impressed waggons to carry them & the road was strewn with equipments, arms, Haversacks, etc. His own loss, two wounded. but I preserve Gen Stuarts official dispatch D.

Whilst in the garden at Hascosea clipping & prunning on Tuesday or Wednesday, suddenly came through the still air the boom of cannon. Conjectures were vain, but in due course of time came the tidings that we were attacking a Gunboat on the Chowan & that after disabling we were proceeding to take possession when three more came to the rescue & tho we kept up the action injuring more of them, yet were eventually forced to retire. Ransom’s Brigade it was in action. Col Clarke was I suppose there.

Today March the 5th the first Peach bloom (the Honey Peach) expanded at Hascosea & driving home I found the Plums also struggling into blossom. Am quite excited by a new method of sticking evergreen cuttings, given me by Mrs Smith yesterday, i. e., in Peat, black wet sour looking stuff. I should think it would need all the lime in the Confederacy to make it available for the purposes of vegetation, but she showed me the results & I came home with a handful of rare & choice cuttings which she gave me & put them down according to her instructions, choosing a Northern exposure & building a shelter of Pine bushes over them & next fall ‘nous verrons.’ Chatted with Mr E of my Arboretum which, when the war is over and nails are cheap so that I can enclose it, I am going to have. I do not think I will admit a deciduous tree & but few shrubs. Tho Mad de Stael does call Evergreen the “devil de la nature,” I like them. Have had the girls to dine with me twice, once here on Monday & again on Wednesday at Hascosea, and am as busy as these thorn pricked fingers will let me be netting them some fancy nets for their hair. Nannie is well informed, pleasant & lady like, has a good address & does her parents much credit. But I am sleepy, near twelve o’clock & no Mr E. I wish the Yankees had old Hoody Manuel, & Cumbo, too, for that matter.

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

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February 24, 1864

Went today to Nettie Spruill’s funeral, poor thing! I remember her so lively & pleasant a child, the idol of her family, but her suffering has been so long that even her mother, whose heart strings are wrapped up in her, is resigned to her loss. For months she has been cut off from companionship of any save her nurses, her disease Consumption, causing her not only the last degree of prostration but acute suffering & yet I hear she was patient & resigned, aye even longed to die and be at rest. Poor Rebecca, my early friend! Death has spared you this pang! Thou hast gone before! Saw Mrs Spruill & her daughters in sight of my life long friendship. Poor woman, she reminded me of my mother’s death & said that her child had died as she had done. Deep in my debt of gratitude for her kindness to me then, a debt I can never repay.

Dined at Hascosea & came home about sundown. Mr E off immediately to Conneconara in search of information against Cumbo whom he hopes with Hoody Manuel’s aid (now turned States Evidence) to capture. It is near bed time & he is yet absent. Sent off yesterday a box to Amo & Charlie of such substantials as are left us. Mr McMahon values it at $200. The Dahlia & Tube Rose Roots with which it is packed “for damage,” as Papa used to say, going for nothing I suppose. Sent also some supplies to Col Clarke now stationed at Twilight station.

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

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