[from the diary of Matthella Page Harrison as transcribed at a later date]
Wednesday, December 31st -- The last of the old year, 1862. Where shall I be this day a year? God alone knows, on earth or in heaven or in hell. O God help me. Satan hath stifled me at heart but wilt Thou not pray for the most erring of Thy creatures that I may resist him and flee unto Thee, who wilt not break the bruised reed. Dr. Harrison, our children and myself are the inhabitants of this house where once my father, mother and their merry children dwelt. Of the latter, only I am left. The builder and head, the gentle mother and four of her darlings are in the silent tomb. Archie is a private in the army now, doubtless sleeping in his tent on some bleak hill, Fez gone to seek his orders as a surgeon to a foreign land, and our fair valley is possessed by northern demons. They are reported as 5000 strong in Winchester. Today Co. Rosser with thirty of Stuart's cavalry passed through Millwood saying three brigades were not far distant, so we hope for deliverance. God grant that on this anniversary our land may be shining in the light of peace.