Wednesday, February 6, 2013

1863 February 2 [Clarke County, Va.]

[from the diary of Matthella Page Harrison as transcribed at a later date]

Monday, February 2nd - Intensely cold.  No falling[sic] weather.  No church yesterday.
Mr. Jones was called to Shepherdstown to perform the  sad office of the burial of
Mrs. Andrews.  Upper Longwood, Linden family and ourselves had service at Linden,
Cousin John, Deacon.  I received a letter from my precious brother Archie today
which relieves me of much anxiety about him.  He is near Mt. Crawford. There are
various reports of our troops coming to our relief, being stopped at Woodstock by
the snow, but I fear much it only exists in the minds of the newsmongers.  Cousin
John was here today and thought it might be true.  Our tyrants in Winchester are
drawing the reins tighter. They have carried off forcibly the servants in several
places.  Sue and Flora McDonald got a pass from Gen. Kruserez to go to Richmond.
Five miles from Winchester they were stopped and accused of having letters of import-
ance.  They were carried into a house by the wayside and searched by a black woman.
She was very much confused and said, "Indeed young ladies I don not know what I am to
do."  They replied they didn't know either so they got off very well from that part
of the importune. When they reentered their carriage an officer got in with them.
He said he had been ordered to do so to prevent the destruction of any important
papers they might have.  On their arrival in town they were carried to the Provost;
also, their baggage, to be searched.  On entering town they apprised their sister,
Mrs. Green, of their situation and she came immediately and insisted on the trunks
being searched in her presence, in consequence of which their examinations were not
very minute.  They were finally released and returned home, but not to Richmond.
Mrs. Tuley wrote to Lee Blair and requested him, on the score of old friendship, to
get a pass for Miss Mary Jackson to go to Washington.  He replied with many fine
speeches about recollection of past acquaintance etc., but refused the pass as her
visit might cause the death of many thousands of their brave men by valuable infor-
mation imparted. I suppose little Miss Mary has become formidable.  Verily these
are horrible times in Yankee annals when a damsel of four feet some inches is
reckoned equal to Samson.  And when these outrages are being committed in our midst,
the volcano which has thrown all this mud and dirt over us is as calm and smiling as
if its bosom was the dwelling of all things pure.  We hear of grand entertainment in
town of the chief murderers, grand balls attended by those even who have kindred
breasting the death struggle for freedom, with heads glittering with gold powder
while many are dying of want.  cousin Nannie Pleasant went to Miss Gro[?] wedding
with her head so adorned. Wrote to brother Archie tonight.

Gen. Kruserez:  perhaps a mangled guess at the name of Union General Wlodzimierz B. Kryzanowski, a Polish nobleman who fled Poland for the United States after the rebellion of 1848.

MSS 9759

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.