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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 09, 1865

Diary Concern over Confederate/Yankee Fighting Breaking Out

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of being concerned about fighting breaking out between Confederate soldiers on their way home and Yankees posted in town.

“…Johnston’s men are coming through in full tide, and there is constant danger of a collision between them and the Yankees. There are four brigades of cavalry camped on the outskirts of town waiting to be paroled. Contrary to their agreement with Lee and Johnston, the Yankees now want to deprive these men of their horses and side arms, and refuse to parole them until they are dismounted and disarmed. Our men refuse to submit to such an indignity and vow they will kill every “d - d Yankee” in Washington rather than suffer such a perfidious breach of faith. Lot Abraham, or “Marse Lot,” as we call him, seems to be a fairly good sort of a man for a Yankee, and disposed to behave as well as the higher powers will let him. He has gone to Augusta with Gen. Vaughan, who is in command of one of the refractory brigades, to try to have the unjust order repealed. If he does not succeed, we may look out for hot times. The Yankees have only a provost guard here at present, and one brigade of our men could chop them to mince meat. I almost wish there would be a fight. It would do my heart good to see those ruffians who insulted Aunty thrashed out, though I know it would be the worse for us in the end. I have been exchanging experiences with a good many people, and find that we have fared better than most of our friends, on account, I suppose, of our retired situation, and the distance of our house from the street. While Gen. Stacy’s men were camped out at the mineral spring, he made his headquarters at Mrs. James DuBose’s house, and permitted his negro troops to have the freedom of the premises, even after Mrs. DuBose had appealed to him for protection. They go into people’s kitchens and try to make the other negroes discontented and disobedient. Some of the girls who live near the street tell me they don’t venture to open their pianos, because if they begin to play, they are liable to be interrupted by Yankee soldiers intruding themselves into the parlor to hear the music. People are very much exasperated, but have no redress. Our soldiers are likely to raise a row with them at any time, but it would do no good. Yesterday, they gave the garrison a scare by pretending to storm their quarters in the courthouse. They say the Yankees are very uneasy, and sing small whenever a big troop of our men arrive, though they grow very impertinent in the intervals. Our little town has witnessed only the saddest act of the war - the dissolution of the Confederate Government and the dispersal of our armies. The Yankees are gathering up all the wagons and stores that belonged to our government for their own use. The remains of our poor little treasury have also been handed over to them. I am sorry now that our cavalry didn’t complete their job and get the whole of it. It seems hard that the supplies contributed out of our necessities during these four years of privation for the support of our own government, should go now to fill the pockets of our oppressors. …” Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 234-236.