This Day in Georgia Civil War History
January 31, 1865
Diary Entry on Meeting Wretched Soldiers
Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of encountering more Confederate soldiers, including one in wretched condition.
“Sister and I spent the morning making calls. At the tithing agent’s office, where she stopped to see about her taxes, we saw a battalion of Wheeler’s cavalry, which is to be encamped in our neighborhood for several weeks. Their business is to gather up and take care of broken-down horses, so as to fit them for use again in baggage trains and the like. At the postoffice a letter was given me, which I opened and read, thinking it was for me. It began “Dear Ideal” and was signed “Yours forever.” I thought at first that Capt. Hobbs or Albert Bacon was playing a joke on me, but on making inquiry at the office, I learned that there is a cracker girl named Fanny Andrews living down somewhere near Gum Pond, for whom, no doubt, the letter was intended; so I remailed it to her. As we were sitting in the parlor after supper, there was another lumbering noise of heavy feet on the front steps, but it was caused by a very different sort of visitor from the one we had Sunday night. A poor, cadaverous fellow came limping into the room, and said he was a wounded soldier, looking for work as an overseer. He gave his name as Etheridge, and I suspect, from his manner, that he is some poor fellow who has seen better days. Sister engaged him on the spot, for one month, as an experiment, though she is afraid he will not be equal to the work.” Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 82-83.