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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

July 15, 1864

Diary Entry on Plundering Yankees and Woman in Distress

William King of Cobb County wrote in his diary of more Union soldiers moving through Marietta, of some of them plundering, and of his attempts to help a woman in distress.

It rained and blew heavily last evening, this morning pleasant and the dust well laid. I did not go to town, but remained at Home to write letters, hoping that I may be able to get one to my wife via N. Y. I sent one to her in the same way about a week ago, I do not know when that letter will reach her if ever–if I could only communicate to her that I was getting on comfortably and all well, I would be relieved from much anxiety. Heavy firing has been heard this morning towards the South between 9 and 10 o’clock, about a regiment of the Fed. Inf. on foot passed on the R.R. track from front to the rear–but few cars have passed for some days past. I understand that the traveling on the Road above this has been greatly disturbed and endangered by parties of Bushwhackers firing into them as they pass. I have today written my 2nd. letter to my wife via New York. In the afternoon I went into town, heard nothing new, interesting. The Comm’t (Col. Ross) was ordered to the front with his Reg’t, his successor as Commandant of the Post was Col. Bishop. The change of Commandants rendered necessary a change of guards. I found Mrs. McClatchy again in much distress at being without a guard, I endeavored while in town to procure another guard for her without success, I could only get the promise of probably one for her tomorrow–she being very uneasy I got two of the young men about us to sleep in her House tonight. I called to see Col. Howell’s family, and found he was that afternoon the father of his 8th. child about two hours old, being my first to him he seemed much gratified to see me as he seldom went out of his house. I have not seen him in town since the arrival of the Federal Army, he informed me that he was getting on well and had had but little annoyance, one of his servant women had left him the day before, but had returned to him again this morning. Our servants are all getting on well, I having but little for them to do, they are enabled to make money by washing and mending for the soldiers. I today heard of the sad condition of Mr. and Mrs. Greenlee Butler, they had remained within the Lines of Judge Irvine’s place, he was very feeble, and they in common with all their neighbors had been robbed of all their provisions and nearly everything else. [torn] to go into our Lines the sufferings from the depredations of the robbers is very great. Many who were well supplied for months and some for a year, have been compelled to come to town and perform day work for a living, the man making $30. & $35. per month and the woman 5 cents or 10 cents a piece for washing. Large numbers of families are quitting the county, and going to the North to seek a support for themselves and families–such are the consequences of a needless war on domestic comfort and the prosperity of a county. Source: Diary of William King; Cobb County, Georgia, 1864