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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

February 13, 1865

Diary Entry on How War Affected Family

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of getting letters from home - Washington, Georgia - with some thoughts on how the war had affected her family; she even managed to find one good thing to come from it.

“Letters from home. Our house is full of company, as it always is, only more so. All the Morgans are there, and Mary Day, and the Gairdners from Augusta, besides a host of what one might call transients, if father was keeping a hotel - friends, acquaintances, and strangers whom the tide of war has stranded in little Washington. Mrs. Gairdner’s husband was an officer in the English army at Waterloo, and a schoolmate of Lord Byron, and her sons are brave Confederates - which is better than anything else. Mary Day had typhoid fever in Augusta. She is too weak to make the journey from Mayfield to Macon, and all non-combatants have been ordered to leave Augusta, so mother invited her to Haywood. Oh, that dear old home! I know it is sweeter than ever now, with all those delightful people gathered there. One good thing the war has done among many evils; it has brought us into contact with so many pleasant people we should never have known otherwise. I know it must be charming to have all those nice army officers around, and I do want to go back, but it is so nice here, too, that we have decided to stay a little longer. Father says that this is the best place for us now that Kilpatrick’s raiders are out of the way. I wish I could be in both places at once. They write us that little Washington has gotten to be the great thoroughfare of the Confederacy now, since Sherman has cut the South Carolina R.R. and the only line of communication between Virginia and this part of the country, from which the army draws its supplies, is through there and Abbeville. This was the old stage route before there were any railroads, and our first “rebel” president traveled over it in returning from his Southern tour nearly three-quarters of a century ago, when he spent a night with Col. Alison in Washington. It was a different thing being a rebel in those days and now. I wonder the Yankees don’t remember they were rebels once, themselves. …” Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 91-93.