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In Their Own Words

August 16, 1864

Diary Entry on Friendly Union Officers, Anger at Politicians

William King of Cobb County wrote in his diary of his sadness at being parted from some friendly Union officers, and again bemoans the politicians that brought on the war.

“I am nearly broke up this morning. My young guard–Rich’d Caldwell, Loveland, Warren Co. Ohio–command 1st. Ohio Cav’y is ordered in front and he has left me, the poor young fellow shook hands with me on leaving with tears in his eyes. Soon after called Or’y Serg’t Evans & Lieut T.W. Osborn to take leave of me, they have contributed greatly to my enjoyment & comfort for some weeks past, now they are ordered in front to take part in the struggle of War, they seemed to feel the separation as keenly as I did. I gave each of them a small piece of paper with my wife’s address, as I had often done to others before, that if either of them should be taken prisoner they could write to her about my comfortable condition. It has been an occasion of much surprize to me the uninterrupted experience of kindness & sympathy I have experienced from the officers & privates of the Federal Army. Could I be anxious to separate our political connection with such a people? What folly on the part of our politicians, to have involved this once happy country in such a War for such a purpose! May God ordain good results out of such a sad calamity. Often have officers station in town and about, when suddenly ordered off, rode out only to shake hands with me & say goodbye, and then passing near afterwards stopped to make me a short visit–how grateful must I feel for the many manifestations of kind and sympathetic feelings which I have experienced. …”

Source: Diary of William King; Cobb County, Georgia, 1864