[from the diary of Charles H., Co. H, 23rd Ohio]
Raleigh, March 12th, 1862.
Started early this morning from Fayette,
and traveled the entire distance here
on foot, 25 miles, without incident
worthy of note, save falling in company
with a couple of women, sisters, who proved
to be “native.” With them I traveled four
miles. The youngest was a comely maiden,
and with proper training & education, &
a decent ‘outfit,’ she would have adorned
ordinary society. Situated as she is,
her advantages for acquiring such, are
exceedingly small, and she, like many
others, intelligent & of good disposition,
are born & brought up in a wilderness,
without where anything beyond the log-house
& eternal ‘linsey-woolsey’ & ‘blue jeans’
are ignored, as useless contrivances, origina=
ting with those unemployed or not well=
employed. But such is life; & especially
so in Western Virginia, where a system
of free schools has not yet penetrated, &
the ‘natives’ are in blissful ignorance of
anything & everything in general.
Ye laborers in the cause of philanthropy;
for humanity’s sake, & the sake of
the ignorant heathen here, send your
teachers & missionaries to points nearer
home, & in your own land, instead of
away beyond the Seas, to “Boroboola Cha”, or
some other horribly sounding name.
Here is labor to do that should be done;
in preference to instructing the heathen
in other lands, we should first attend to
home. “Pluck the beam,” &c, &c.
The news of the Manassas evacuation
was received this evening with cheers, this
following in the wake of other victories
of recent date, has an inspiriting effect.
I have made today’s record sufficiently
lengthy, & considering my weariness
from excessive travel, I will put a
stop here, commonly called a .
Hay is referring to the March 7, 1862 move of McClellan’s Army of the Potomac that advanced southward toward Joseph E. Johnstons’s Confederates at Manassas.
[transcription and annotation by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]