Friday, February 1, 2013

1863 January 26 Staunton, Va.

[from the diary of Joseph Addison Waddell, former newspaper publisher and civilian employee of the Quartermaster Dept.]

Monday night, January 26, 1863.
A letter from Kate to Kitty to-night — Says they arrived safely at Christiansburg, on Saturday. The little children met them in the porch, with a very subdued look, not knowing whether it was proper to make any demonstration of joy. Mary has fallen off, and is sad. The house is still and sombre as if a corpse were in it. Various things on the way reminded her of Addy, who was with her on the former trip to C.
I qualified to-day as Administrator de bonis non +c, of the late Mr. Sowers, executing a bond with penalty of $50,000. My security are my two brothers and A. H. H. Stuart. Alfred Sowers applied for administration, but as his sisters, who are a majority of the heirs, preferred me, and especially opposed him, the Court decided in my favor, after a wrangle at the bar. I of course was not an applicant for the place, and I would have cheerfully declined it, if Alfred S. had proposed any one whom I could have recommended to his sisters. I presume he has no opposition to me, but only wanted the office himself.
Some days ago we had a Northern report that 5000 of our men had been captured by Federalists at "Arkansas Post," in Arkansas. It was disbelieved, as no one could tell anything about such a force at such a place. But it now sees to have been true. From the Northern news published in the Richmond papers of this morning, it seems that the Federal army was last week advancing again to cross the Rappahannock, near Fredericksburg. Indeed, it is doubtful, as we hear nothing of it from our side. Still some hopeful signs at the North. The New Jersey Legislature has elected Wall to the U. S. Senate, who has recently been released from one of Lincoln's prisons. The new Governor of that State, in his inaugural address, advocates peace — but, like all the others, does not give up the Union yet!!! Reports from Europe, that the French Emperor is again moving for intervention. — England still holds back.

[transcript by the Valley of the Shadow project]

MSS 38-258

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