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In Their Own Words

March 20, 1864

Diary Entry on Inflation, Blockade, Shortages

Julia Johnson Fisher - a woman staying in Camden County during the Civil War - wrote in her diary of the rampant inflation caused by the war, the blockade, and subsequent lack of food and clothing.

No news yet from Gussy and we fear no mail. No one but Franky came in to S. School. We have been out of meat some days. Live on corn and rice. Yesterday Kate sent us a potato pie, and radishes, such a treat! And one day in the week Mrs. Linn gave us a piece of venison. We have kind and thoughtful neighbors. They send many nice bits. Don’t know when we shall have a pig ready to kill. No one has anything to sell–all are short. It takes a fortune to send to the City–Shoes $100 a pair–Flour $200 a barrel Eggs $3.00 per dozen. It is thought there will soon be a reduction. Gussy took over $1,500 with him. Hope no evil has befallen him. He has been gone ten days. [then later] Gussy has just come with a loaded mule. Goods sent by Julia in exchange for some cast off clothing. For mine she has received $217.00 Confederate money–worth about 5c. on the dollar. Having no opportunity for spending the money I concluded to invest it in land thinking it might become profitable. Sybil has received some mourning goods and cloth for the boys. Once worth from ten to twelve cents a yard–now from six to twelve dollars bringing a calico dress to $100.00–a calico shirt to $40.00. The bubble must burst before long. We feel a great longing for Englewood. It constitutes my day dreams. We want Northern comforts. It is tedious to spend half the time catching fleas and the other half in sleeping and eating hominy and rice. The thought of milk, potatoes and good bread makes us mourn for a return of good times.

Source: Julia Johnson Fisher, 1814-1885 Diary, 1864