Posts Tagged ‘Death’

October 24th 1864

This day twelve years ago my dear little Pherba died from the effects of a burn, she was burnt on Saturday, died Sunday night at 8 o’clock and Jesus took her to his bosom. I feel sad today, I do not feel well. I feel tired from a long walk I took yesterday to attend prayermeeting at Union, and was disappointed there was no meeting. I now consecrate myself to God, I beg him to direct me in all things. I look to him as my saviour who I know has been with me in every trial, and I believe he is my best friend who will never leave nor forsake us. All my trials are permitted to cut loose my affections from this world. I will thank God for them. I go to God as a weak and dependant child to it’s Father, he knows our wants, he is able and will help us at the right time. I long and pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost, I shall expect it, for I will fast and pray for it.

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

Read Full Post »

Raleigh Oct 22nd 1864

Dearest Will

Yours from City Point reached me safely, although that from Bermuda Hundreds did not come to hand. We all rejoiced over it & praised & blessed God for your safety. He has mercifully preserved you through so many dangers, devote yourself to His service at all times & in all places. Your Father is at his country home. I have appointed no time for leaving for I am enjoying myself & I have gained 3 & 1/2  lbs. by weight. The Genl. cannot put his foot to the floor yet & is a great sufferer at times. He now desires company & we all read aloud to him by turns. Yr sister is very kind in reading to him. Mr Thos Branch has rented Dr. Richard Haywood’s house & is moving in. Mr. Henry Brian has rented the one your Uncle occupies & yr Uncle has determined to return to the country. It is his fault for he would not secure it when it was offered to him. Old Mr. Sheppard has died recently & also Judge Donnell. Mary Mason is to assist us in making a burl frame for yr portrait. It is a great comfort to me to look at it. The Devereux are well. Annie is with us very often. George is really gaining strength at last. The others well. I sent up letters to yr Father to gladden his heart. He missed you sadly. All send heart felt love. Confer with my friends if possible & let me know who are still living if you can. Would that I could write more.

Most affectionately & devotedly

yr Mother.


Source:  W.H.C. Burgwyn Papers, State Archives of North Carolina and found on www.ncecho.org

Read Full Post »

Fort Holmes

October 1st [1864]

Dear Wife

I now will try to write you a note to let you know that I have arrived here safe and am quite well. My men were all seemingly very glad to see me. In fact they have hung around me so that I have not had the chance to write before. I was not feeling well yesterday being swollen in the stomach but it passed off at night. I had a right good time coming up to Wilson after I left home but had to steal corn out of a mans field to feed Tally that night. I settled up my board and other things in Wilmington on Tuesday and Wednesday and came down on Thursdays boat. There is a great deal of sickness here now and there has been all this fall. Lt. Whitely of Liggets company died last night of typohoid fever. He live just opposite us on the north side of the river and was an excellent young man. He was a large robust man and looked as if he was destined to an old age. His corpse just passed my house on its way home escorted by a company with muffled drums. Poor fellow: show will do him no good now. I pity his father and mother as they perhaps will receive the tidings of his death by having their sons corpse brought home to them. Not many of my company are sick now and what is sick are not dangerous at all. Whitely makes five I believe that have died here this week. Col. Lait seemed very glad to see me and our worthy Maj has not yet returned from his leave to express his joy at my safe return. The Col and I had some sharp sparring yesterday and both of us got quite warm. It began about Halsey and one thing led to another until I told him of his being saddled on us against the wish of all the officers. When he said he knew it and did not care a d_m if we did not like it. He told the truth no doubt. All concur in saying they never saw me so fat and looking so well before. I am feeling very well indeed but feel that I am fatning in the belly to fast. I have been faring quite well thus far as we get an abundance of fish. We have a seine hauled for the garrison and some of my men are on the detail and I make them bring me fish every day. Mars goes striking up the coast every night now and catches a great variety of as nice flounders as you ever saw and he brings them to me to take as many as I want every morning. I take one as that is enough for me and Macon as we are all that are here now. Harrison has not yet arrived and Col intends arresting him when he does come for staying over his time. HE sent me an order this morning to report him absent without leave from the 28th of Sept. There is a squall brewing for Harrison I fear. I am trying to avert it and hope I may succeed. Johnny was more pleased to see me than he would have been to see his father I reckon, and sticks close by me when off of duty. There is nothing stirring down here now, only the Yankees seem to have redoubled their vigilance and are catching steamers rapidly. They run one on shore and burned her night before last at Fisher. I have not yet learned which one it was but we think it was one bound out with a load of cotton. I had quite a load of things to bring down with me and I got them here all safe. I gave Eliza part of my dried apples and Mrs. Southerland a part. I also gave Mrs. Southerland part of my pepper and gave Col. Cunningham a part of the pepper also. Every one who tasted the catchup says it is excellent. I really wish I had two of three gallons of it it is so good. I find it is excellent with fish as it prevents thirst. I drew all of my rations up to the last of the month when I was in Wilmington and gave it to MRs. Southerland. It is unnecessary for me to say anything about Elizas family as Jenny went home with Billy. I persuaded her to do so as she has been confined so long at home and the change might do her baby good and I know you would be glad to see her. Hen she wishes to go back to Wilson you can get Billy to carry her and send Tom with them to carry her luggage in a cart. Perhaps John Bonner will let Charles go with her to help carry them up. I do not know that I have any directions to give you darling about anything as I told you and Roden all that I have wished done while at home. One thing tho I will say. Have the wheat got in as soon as you can as the great fault in my raising wheat has been getting it in too late. While I was at home in June I spoke to Mr. Watson on South Creek to save me some seed oats. Find out whether he done so and if he did when you go to sow oats get them and have them sowed too. Roden told me he had saved 6 bushels of oats and if you can get 4 bushels more to sow as they are the best find for homes we have have and saves corn. Tell Roden to do his best on the hogs and try and have them fattened well. Some one has stolen 4 of my pigs here only leaving me 4. I have a notion of selling what is left as I expect the same persons will take the balance of them. If [illeg] Tripp buys that koop for you or bargains for it you had better pay for him right off and take a receipt for the money. If Mr. Archbell will sell another one take it and I will try to send you the money to pay for it. I should like to buy all the big steers Mr. Archbell will sell another one take it and I will try to send you the money to pay for it. I should like to buy all the big steers Mr. Archbell has to spare at not over 125 dollars a piece. Their hides will almost pay for them at that price. I am anxiously looking for a letter from you and hope to hear that your bore our parting bravely. I hope also to hear of your being in good health and spirits and of the childrens being well. Poor Ben! I had to leave him sick but hope he has got well ere this. Tell the children when they learn the books I carried them I will get them more. Vene will learn hers sure for she seems very fond of books. Tell Josephus that he and Tom must go in the thicket and gather up the walnuts when they fall down. I saw that they were falling when I was at home. Sephe and Ben can with the little negroes get those in the field. Mars is very well indeed and so is Louis. I shall let Mars come home Christmas if nothing happens. Give my best respects to all the negroes and my love to all our dear little ones and tell Josephus and Vene to write to me. I want to be with you my own darling wife more than ever if possible. If I could be with you and stay with you, I could do a hep towards supporting the family by fishing and with my gun. By the John Walfinder promised me to buy me 4 or 6 lbs of net twine from Newberne. If he does you can have some small mesh nets tied. Excuse this rambling letter darling as I have so many around me it is hard to write at all and rest assured you are the dearest object to me on earth. I think of you all my moments of relaxations from my dutys. Good bye my own darling sweet little wife.

Yours forever and ever


Source: William Henry Tripp and Araminta Guilford Tripp Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill. http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/t/Tripp,William_Henry_and_Araminta_Guilford.html#folder_7#2

Read Full Post »

Friday 9th [September 1864]

Mr. Vic brought the wrong mail his morning & took it back so we got now news. I finished Jinnie’s dresses & began Fannie’s. Jim’s baby died today about 12 o’clock. It has been sick for three weeks. It was very poor. I crocheted a little sheet & made a pillow for it. This has been a beautiful day, the first bright day we have had in several.


Saturday 10th [September 1864]

They buried the baby at the middle of the day. I finished Fannie’s dress today and began Mr. Henry a pair socks. Matt is going to knit one. This day six years ago, my dear little Cora died. I know it was best that she died but ‘tis hard to think so even now. I often think of her and almost wish her back again to this troublesome world but I can go to her but she can never come to me. May I be ready & willing to go & be with my friends that have gone before.


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).

Read Full Post »

September 3, 1864

Who can tell what a day will bring forth? The affliction into which poor Pattie was in one moment plunged sends a pang through every heart & makes all tremble for the future. On the first, the day before yesterday, she received a letter from her sister, Mrs Gilliam, telling her that her brother Capt Skinner (whom she idolized more than any other human being) had been instantly killed whilst gallantly leading a charge at the battle of Ream’s Station. He had just shouted to his men, “Forward boys! Forward once more & we have got them!!” when he was struck by a Minnie ball in the left temple & fell. His men pressed on, carried the Yankee works, & returned to find him cold & stiff in death. His cousin Willie Mallory  (a member of his company) & another of his men buried him on the field of battle & wrote his sister an account of his death. Poor Pattie! Her grief is fearful! Her wounds are torn open afresh & the “low beginnings of content” which God in his mercy had granted her are broken up from the foundation. In the most heartrending accents she would call on her husband, on her brother, exclaim that they were her all, her all, Aunt Kate, Aunt Kate my all, my all! until ones heart & brain almost reeled at the presence of such sorrow. Ah! How much more heavy is the pressure of greif when there is nothing to be done but to look the dreadful fact steadily in the face, than when there is a need for action, for exertion, for thought of some kind.

Her sisters entertain hopes of recovering the body & burying for the present in Oxford & I have sent a man on to the battle field to make the attempt. Mr Edmondston accordingly took her yesterday to that place in the hope of being in time for the funeral. Poor thing, my heart bleeds for her! He was indeed her “all,” her stay, her support, & her comfort & to him alone she looked for what of happiness the future had in store for her. I cannot trust myself to speak of his death. It seems to have brought the war even nearer to me than the death of my own nephew did. Perhaps on account of its suddenness! But if there is one fate in the future, one punishment for the damned more terrible than another, it will surely be those who have inaugerated and carried on this dreadful war, who have sown the country broadcast with blood & misery. Mr Lincoln! Mr Lincoln! We call you to the bar of Judgment, you and your arch tool Seward! On you two falls the weight of the heaviest retribution which man was ever yet called to suffer.

Capt Benjamin Skinner was an uncommonly fine young man of parts more solid than brilliant. He had made himself beloved by his associates & idolized by his family for a kindness of disposition, an unselfishness of character, which showed itself in constant acts of self denial for their sakes. Firm, upright, & just in his dealings with all men, he was distinguished for modesty of disposition, a cheerful evenness of temper, a kindly playfulness of manner as rare as it is valuable, a good soldier, — gallant, brave, and uncomplaining even amids the greatest of hardships. He was almost worshiped by his men and he commanded in no small degree the respect and admiration of his superior officers. As the head of his family his death will long be felt by them; for to him, young as he was, they all looked up as to a common centre. To his Mother & Pattie his loss is irreparable & to his youngest brother now immured in a Northern Prison the want of his example & influence is incalculable. He was but a type of thousands of other young men who daily lose their lives on the altar of Southern independance. “Independance” my God! how dearly bought! Hasten the time O Lord when we shall be free! free from the ravages of this Northern Minos who thus devours the flower of our youth!

All day yesterday I wandered about worn out in body & mind, unable to do anything or even to think of any thing save Pattie & her sorrow’s. Mr E & herself left early in the morning & he cannot get back at earliest before twelve o’clock tomorrow. I think I shall scarce know rest until he comes. A tiny note from him this morning dated Weldon gives us the ill omened news that in spite of the blood shed at Ream’s the Yankees still hold the R R at that point. No explanation of the heavy firing on the 1st, so we are forced to think it must have been further down the road. He tells me also that McClellan & Wood are the nominees for the Chicago Convention for Pres & Vice Pres of the U S. Little do I care whom they place in that seat; be it the arch Enemy himself, he would suit his subjects rarely. I do not beleive in their Peace humbugs & Restoration of the Unions — canards “Peace,” “Reconstruction,” & “Union” are party cries all alike empty. Give them but the power & we will see what kind of Peace they will give us. Peace lies in our own good swords & unerring aim.

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

Read Full Post »

September 2nd [1864]

The weather is light & beautiful but our hearts are sad. The angel of death has again spread his gloomy wings over our family-circle. Another visitation on the altar of his Country. Robert smith, our young cousin has fallen. His remains were interred in our family burying ground & fair hands placed a wreath of evergreens over the grave of the young hero & left him to sleep with kindred dust. We have the comforting hope that he was ready for the summons. He sent word to his Brother that he had “found peace & it was all well with him.” Oh may these trials be blessed to us all!


Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Read Full Post »

Atlanta Ga

Aug 18th/64

My Dear Wife

Yours of the 25th came to hand the 11th and found me well & in the ditches with the boys. I was on a visit to see them and I found them generally well, but a good deal of grumbling & dissatisfaction – rations rather short and so much duty to do that they are worn out. The yanks breast works are in plain view here & a constant shelling which keeps the boys close to their breast works. The pickets fight all the time. Its one continual roar of small arms in plain view of both breast works.

Our regt has escaped remarkably well lately. None killed since I wrote you last, 3 or 4 have been wounded. Collins (Eli’s son) & Nichols (David’s son) of Co I. Collin’s middle finger left hand was amputated. Nichols right side by a piece of shell and some others who you are not acquainted with. I started out yesterday morning to see the boys and the shelling was so heavy that I came back. I think there was 40 or 50 struck within 100 yards of me & I thought some came near hiting me and learning the regt was going out on picket last night I came back to the cooking train where I stay badly scared as for war news. I have but little. Wheeler is certainly gone to the rear of Sherman & reports say tore up 20 miles of R Road. If so, Sherman will have to fight or retreat. If he charges our works he is whipped. He must do something soon for his supplies for he cant get them from the country. Both armies are well fortified here. The Yankees shell Atlanta both day and night. They bomb a house nearly evry day or night & occasionally kill some they have killed several women & children. Still that don’t make them leave town. I feel sorry for them I think they ought to take their children & git out of harms way & the reach of the shells.

Well I have an apology to make you. This is the first letter I have written since I left Griffin over 2 weeks ago. The cause of my not writing you last week was the yanks had cut the R Road & stoped communications for a few days & then I thought I would wait until I visited the Regt. The day I rec’d your letter I wrote out my resignation which was excepted by the Col. I asked for leave of absence which was not granted, so I waited until I could hear from the later paper hoping that I could git to go home but Coleman disapproved it & so did all the others. I suppose it will be 30 days before I hear from my resignation which has to go to Richmond. I tendered it unconditionally and immediately. I said nothing to my boys about it as they told me they heard I was going to resign & if I did they swore they would go too. I told Lt. Anderson about it & he hated it very much but said he could not blaime me. The boys all know it now & I fear as soon as they git their pay which I learn will be in a few days, many will go home. Woodberry Owens left for home a few nights ago 12 or 14 of the Jackson Co has gone home. If this seage last much longer I fear half of our armey will leave but I have hope that Sherman will have to retreat soon & we may yet drive them back. Capt Dyche and Lt. Whitaker have tendered their resignation & asked for a leave of abasence. Their resignations were excepted but they have not heard whether leave is granted or not. Capt Hughes & others say they are going to resign. John Reid tis trying for a furlough but has not heard from anyone yet. I got a letter from Joe a few days ago dated July 18th. He was well their & near Petersburg. I also got one from Samey dated July 29th. He was in Richmond in the quarter masters dept & said he heard that Joe was about to loose one of his eyes. I have not received your letter giving me the particulars of Anns death in that this is the only one I have red lately except the one Anderson brought me & I supposed what you said was that Ann died on your birth day. Will Woodfin also told me of her death.

I will go out to the regt in a day or two or I may strike out to git off soon. The yanks are shelling bery heavy this evening. It is a continual fire a general engagement could not be much heavier. I hope to be with my two wives soon to receive the good things presents they have in store for me. The clothing I don’t need at present so bad but the sleeping with my wife I am very needy. I hope the time is close when I can git both clothing & the sweet kisses & pleasant bed mate.

Kiss my sweet babes often for me. My love to all. I ever remain your devoted husband. Write often.




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). Diary of Major William W. Stringfield. Original in the Alfred Bell papers, Duke University Library Specila Collections.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »