July the 11 1864
Monday Evening. In front of Washington City DC! See the unfinished dome of the Capitol. I am still very unwell and remain with the wagons which are one mile in advance of my division which is guarding the rear. Gen. Early has demanded the surrender of the city which he can take by considerable loss of life. The enemy are driven back to their inside works. The mansion of Post Master Genl. Blair is burnt. Our army is very anxious to enter Washington city. I fear for the people if they ever do enter there. So much misery has been brought on our people by the vile miscreants living there that they could not be restrained. If the proper ones were the only sufferers I would say turn them loose upon the city. It will always be a bone of contention among us any way. I am very weak and not able for duty but must travel.
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in the WW Stringfield Papers, North Carolina State Archives.