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In Their Own Words

April 26, 1865

Diary Mentioned Picnic, Civil War Soldiers Passing Through

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of enjoying a picnic, knowing there would be little to laugh about later, and seeing yet more Confederate soldiers passing through on their way home.

“Gen. Elzey lent his ambulances, and we had a charming little picnic under the management of Capt. Hardy. We left town at seven o’clock, before the sun was too hot, and drove to a creek ten miles out, where we spent the day in a beautiful grove, so shady that the sun could not penetrate at noon-day. Gen. Elzey and all the staff were there. Our amusements were cards, fishing in the creek, rambling about through the woods, and sitting in little circles on the grass, talking about what we are going to do under the new order of things. Some comical pictures were drawn of our future occupations, and we guyed each other a good deal about our prospects. I am to take in washing, Mett to raise chickens and peddle them in a cart drawn by Dixie; Capt. Irwin is to join the minstrels, and Capt. Palfrey to be a dancing master - but down in the bottom of our hearts we felt that there is likely to be little occasion for laughter in the end. The drive home was rather hot and dusty, and our enjoyment was damped by the sight of the poor soldiers that we met, trundling along the road; they looked so weary and ragged and travel-stained. Many of them, overcome with fatigue, were lying down to rest on the bare ground by the roadside. I felt ashamed of myself for riding when they had to walk. These are the straggling remnants of those splendid armies that have been for four years a terror to the North, the glory of the South, and the wonder of the world. Alas, alas!”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 185-186.