In Their Own Words
April 19, 1865
Brief Encounter with Sidney Lanier Mentioned in Journal
Returning to her home in Washington, Ga., 24-year-old Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her journal from Milledgeville of the previous day’s events, including a brief meeting with one of Georgia’s most famous poets:
“Milledgeville. - They began to evacuate the city [Macon] at dusk yesterday, and all through the night we could hear the tramp of men and horses, mingled with the rattle of artillery and baggage wagons. Mr. Toombs was very averse to spending the night in Macon, and we were all anxious to push ahead to the end of our journey, but it was impossible to get a conveyance of any sort. Sam Hardeman, Jule’s devoted, spent the evening with us, and as they are both very musical, we tried to keep up our spirits by singing some of the favorite war songs, but they seemed more like dirges now, and we gave up and went to our rooms. We got to bed early, knowing we must be at the depot betimes in the morning, to secure seats on the train for Milledgeville … . We were up almost by daylight, and even then found others starting to the depot ahead of us… . We did not wait at the hotel for breakfast, but started off on foot with cold biscuits in our hands, which were all we had to eat. We reached the depot at least an hour before the schedule time. Three lone trains, heavily laden, went down the South-Western, and Brother Troup got aboard one of them. I am glad he will be with sister in these trying times. There were enough people and baggage still at the depot to load a dozen trains, and the people scrambled for places next the track. Sidney Lanier, a friend of Fred’s, was there, trying to get aboard one of the outgoing trains. Fred introduced him, but we soon lost each other in the crowd. The poor fellow is just up from a spell of typhoid fever, and looked as thin and white as a ghost. He said Harry Day was left behind sick, in Macon. When the Central train backed up, there was such a rush to get aboard that I thought we would have the life squeezed out of us. I saw one man knock a woman down and run right over her. I hope the Yankees will catch him… .”
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl: 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 155-159.