Posts Tagged ‘hiring out’

In the trenches, near Petersburg

Sept 13th 1864


My dearest Corrie,

Yours of the 7th I have just received and surely there is nothing gives me more pleasure while here that to receive letters from you. After my furlough came back disapproved I intended sending up another, I went to Col. Martin and asked his advice he replied “it was useless if they would not grant the one I sent up in which he said, the appeal was as strong as could be made they would not grant any” so I declined sending any more. You have no idea how bad I want to go home but I see no chance for me unless is should be done through the Secretary of War by my relatives at home and I fear that cannot be done as one of the executors of the will is at home and the settlement of the estate can be made without me   now if I was sole executor the thing might be done. I wrote to Bob to sell my stock because I had no where to keep them. I knew uncle John had as much on hand as he can keep and as I have nothing to feed them I thought it would be best to sell them, some of the hogs are very fine over two years old and would make good pork in the fall but I don’t see how or what to do with them. Oh this cruel war it keeps me nearly crazy all the time   if I was at home and could get to stay here I know what to do but as it is I don’t know what is for the best.

I know if the war should end soon or end when it should we would need all of the cattle and hogs. I want you if you see any chance to keep what of them you can and let the remainder be sold. Do Corrie what you think best and it will please me. If they were sold and had the money for them it would be of little use even for the present and two years hence.  I don’t believe it will be worth carrying not even after independence for there will be so much in circulation it will never be redeemed. I don’t know what advice to give you in regard to the mule. I don’t know that we could hire any body to keep it. I know that uncle John is over stocked and cant keep it. Do Corrie as I said before act on your own judgement.

Bob writes that Gaither advised him to sell all the property – fathers estate. I don’t think the negroes ought to be sold as they can be hired out in either case I want you to get one, if sold buy, if hired hire, he or she can make bread for you while I’m in the army, uncle John needs another hand anyway. There is a good many things I want you to buy at the sale, if I should not get there. Don’t want to buy anything that will eat except a negro or two as “rations” are scarce – I want as little of my part in the estate in money as possible. I suppose from what Bob writes the sale will not take place until November   I would like to know the time as soon as possible. I think I had better advise Bob not to sell the negroes but hire them out. In my former letter I forgot to state that my second court-martial sentenced me to forfeit one months pay and to be publicly reprimanded, the latter I have no received and I think the time has past off so long it will never come – don’t care wether it does or not.

Bill McGimsey has returned to the company although not altogether well. I was in hopes he would get home. I don’t see how I’m to get any cloths from home as I know of no one that will be coming from there this fall. Capt & Jimmy Parks are complaining some  not very sick, the other boys from our neighborhood are generally well. Billy is improving, begins to look like a man. Give rmy love to all and write soon and often and I will do the same.

As ever yours devotedly


Morning 14th   I forgot to state that John Fincannon & Elijah Philips are both dead, died in Richmond.


Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.

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Wednesday 25th May 1864

Sister Jane sent here Monday & got a two horse load of hay. Mr. Henry was in Asheville last Monday, sent five sacks of flour but did not sell it. Sister Jane sent today after two pigs & wants to hire a negro woman for her feed. I don’t want to hire the woman but will try to hire her to Mrs. A.B. Jones

I finished Sam’s pants & Charlie’s that Matt sewed on yesterday. Fannie & Tena finished the wool today & Fannie washed some cotton. Rained this evening. I took off the large wheel off my sewing machine & washing & cleaned it well. It runs some better but still heavy.

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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Wednesday 17th [February 1864]

I fixed the band of Zona’s chemise today & sleeves. Sewed the frill in & began Mr. Henry a pair gloves in the evening. Matt will make Zona’s chemise. Very cold today. I could not keep warm by the fire & we have very good fires. Fannie psinning. Atheline knitting, heeling the children some stockings. Nothing new going on in the country. Negro Jim Common set into work this morning at the same wages he did last year.

Thursday 18th Feby 1864

I finished on of Mr. Henry’s gloves today & began the other. I finished “Morgan’s Raids & Romances” this evening. I have read it & knit. ‘Tis very interesting. I don’t like to knit at day but if I have anything to read I don’t mind it. My little ones are doing very well. Gus will soon be walking. Willie is a very stout healthy child. He can talk nearly plain. Zona can begin to read a little in the first lessons in her primer.

** Raids and Romance of Morgan and his Men by Sally Rochester Ford (New York: Charles B. Richardson, 1864) Read the digital copy here

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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Below are two hiring out notices for enslaved men, women, and children.  Hiring out meant that owners would lease slaves to another master for a pre-defined period, usually a year.  Hiring out usually took place around the first of January for the year.  These notices reflect both someone who had slaves they wanted to hire out and someone seeking to hire slaves.  Hiring out was usual for artisans, and for executors dealing with large estates with minors who would inherit slaves when they came of age.  Terms of hire were negotiated at the hire, including lodging, clothing, meals, and conditions of work.  Slaves were valuable property and owners wanted to insure that their slaves would survive the hire.


I want to hire ten or fifteen NEGROES, stout, active boys, as laborers at the Confederate States Ordnance Works, Salisbury, North Carolina.

A.G. Brenzier

Capt. Art’y Commanding


To hire, and some to sell, on the 1st day of January next. Among them an experienced tanner, five good farm hands, men, several boys and girls.

Jed H. Lindsay

 Source: Greensborough Patriot, December 24, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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Negroes for Hire

I will hire privately, on or before the 1st day of Jan. 1864, (for the year 1864) the following named negroes, two men, three plough boys, five women, and one nurse. The men and boys are splendid tobacco rollers, and also good farm hands. The women are number one cooks, washers and ironers. I can be found at Capt. J.N. Hooper’s near Summer’s Mill, Guilford County, NC

J. Albert Hooper

Source: Greensborough Patriot, November 13, 1863 as found in www.ncecho.org

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Saturday 24th [October 1863]

Mr. Henry came home last night about 8 o’clock. I was so glad to see him but when I heard of his narrow escape & having to go back this morning, my heart almost stopped to beat. He & others had a skirmish with the tories or yanks at Warm Springs Thursday evening. Mr. Henry thinks Maj. John Woodfin is killed. A ball brushed Mr. Henry’s arm, it is an ugly place & very sore. His horse was shot in the fore leg. They had to run up a mountain. Mr. Henry was near Woodfin when he was shot. He fell off his horse soon after they started up the MT. & tis supposed he was dead. Mr. Henry’s horse run under a bush & pulled him off. He then run about 100 yds. & Maj. Woodfin’s horse & another horse came along so he got Davis’ horse. Davis was shot in the hip. He got back to Marshall by the time Mr. Henry & them did. There was only twelve in the squad. They were sent around by Woodfin to see the strength of the enemy. The others, about 100 men, were a quarter of a mile behind. These others were Capt. Harris’ Cavalry. Two men were killed in Capt. Harris’ company. Mr. Henry & these others slept in the Mountains that night. He left his horse as he was too lame to travel. It was the Cagle horse, a good one. Mr. Henry says he could run very fast. They got to Marshall yesterday about 12, had not eat anything since Thursday morning. He lost his overcoat, hat & cape & left his bridle & saddle on poor John Cagle when he left him. He woke me this morning about 1 o’clock. We did not get up till near three. I felt miserable indeed. I slept but little last night thinking of his going this morning. It kept me awake a long time. It may be the last night I shall ever sleep in his dear arms. Oh! I have felt so sad all day, so miserable. I told him goodbye in the front piazza. He eat breakfast a little after 4, he and another man that was going with him. It was raining when he started. Oh! that the Lord would hear my poor petition & spare my dear husbands life. I ask & beseech it of Thee Oh Lord. Stay Thy wrath on us as a nation I pray & grant us peace.

Stevens sent after his negroes we have hired, they went. The people of Asheville expect a raid every day from the tories or yanks one. Stevens is going to move his family, white & black too. I have felt so sad all day. I have done nothing of importance. I finished the dress for Gus. Cook got Pinck’s & Zona’s shoes done today. Fannie is spinning, I want to make Mr. Henry an overcoat as soon as I can get the filling spun. He wants it lapped. Betsey will help spin it. She has quit weaving till she gets the filling ready. There is about ten yds. to weave yet. She will be here Monday after rolls. The wagon got home with the rolls Thursday night. They are very nice, most of them mixed. I did not get the fine wool carded. They brought it back. They would have had to wait two days for it so they said so they brought it home. Take care of my husband whilst he is out I ask of thee O Lord. May our forces come out victorious I pray. They expected a fight with them today. They sent the cannon down yesterday from Asheville.

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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Monday 27th July 1863

I strung the beans for dinner. The children helped. Stephens came in the time we were in the front piazza. Mr. Henry hired some negroes of him today, is to give two bushels of grain for five hands one week or 8 hr. a month. There are two women & three men. They are to come tomorrow. I mended two old under bodies & put a yoke & sleeves in a gown for the baby. ‘Tis an old long gown of his & that makes a short gown. I will put a yoke & sleeves on two old underskirts that were made for Pinck when a baby to make short gowns for the baby. The skirts have never been used much. I will fix the others tomorrow or next day. Mail brought no news.

Tuesday 28th [July 1863]

Did but little today. Fixed one gown. Very warm today. We heard Jim Parker had his arm taken off, poor fellow. I fear he will die. Nothing new. The yanks have not taken Charleston. They are on Morris Island. I very much fear they will.

Wednesday 29th [July 1863]

Finished the last of the babie’s gowns today. They fit very well. Atheline is working in the field as the grass is growing very fast. Stephen’s hands came over today or rather yesterday evening. Some rain this morning, showery. We have had a great deal of rain.

Thursday 30th [July 1863]

I began Zona a bonnet today making it of yellow quilt calico. Did not finish it. Sam & others killed a hog this evening & scalded it in brine. It is very large meat. I hope it may save well. We cured one that way that done finely.

Friday 31st July 1863

Mail brought not news of importance. Our little colt got its leg broke in the old bridge. It died this evening. Zona & I went up to the orchard & stopped to see that sick negroe, one of the Stephens’ women. They live in the old store house. We came by the stables & saw the dead colt & then to the house & then Mr. Henry, I & the children went to the mill as they have got the new wheel started. Boyd made it. It goes finely. The bucket machine does only sorty. Harrie went to Asheville this morning, will not be back before tomorrow night. I have not felt well at all today.

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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