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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 23, 1865

Diary Contrasted Confederate General with Union “Brutes”

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of hosting a Confederate general, and contrasting him to “brutes” like Sherman.

“Gen. Elzey and staff arrived early in the afternoon and called here at once. The general has a fine, soldierly appearance and charming manners, like all West Pointers - except, of course, those brutes like Butler and Sherman and their murderous clan. Capt. Irwin, Mrs. Elzey’s brother, is going to stay at our house, and the whole family has fallen in love with him at first sight. He is the dearest, jolliest fellow that ever lived, and keeps up his spirits under circumstances that would have put down even Mark Tapley. His wife and six daughters are in the enemy’s lines, at Norfolk; six daughters, in these awful times! and the father of them can still laugh. He has a way of screwing up his face when he says anything funny that gives him an indescribably comical appearance. This is enhanced by a little round bald head, like Santa Claus, the result of a singular accident, while he was still a young man. At a dinner party given on the occasion of a wedding in the family, one of the servants let fall a hot oyster pate on top of his head. It blistered the scalp so that the hair fell out and never grew back. He must have been very good-natured not to assassinate that servant on the spot.” Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), p. 181.