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In Their Own Words

January 13, 1864

Diary Entry on Shortages and Relative’s Death

A woman staying in Camden County - Julia Johnson Fisher - wrote in her diary of the shortages caused by the war, and of the death of a relative because of sickness.

Rain–rain. There has been almost constant rain since the month came in. All have colds. We curl over the fire, eat heartily of hog and hominy three times a day. We have become so disgusted with the black muddy corn juice that is called coffee that we have resumed tea again. It is rather a bitter dose but has proved such a tonic for me that my allowance of food scarcely satisfies me. Fred is still dissatisfied with the lack of variety, but I think the lack of quantity is most to be feared. The boys draw rations, about a quart of rice and a pound of bacon for fifteen days. The poor soldiers who have no homes to go to are to be pitied. Our boys are now here on picket duty. Will be off in a few days. It costs them a great deal to live in camp–provisions are so high. Pork $1.50 per pound; Eggs $2.00 per dozen. Mr. Linn has got a part of the machinery out of the new mill, it looks melancholy to see it taken down, before it has had time to run. It was raised at a great expense and just ready for operation when the war put a stop to all business here. We are now beginning to plant the garden hoping to have something in the way of vegetables. We had very little last year, but fruit was unusually abundant. Every tree and bush being full–peaches and plums in the garden. Berries in profusion for miles around us. They afforded us good living for several weeks. A letter has reached us from Aug and Ophelia informing us of the death of Frank. Poor Frank! has ended his sorrowful life after a long sickness –dead a whole year before the tidings reached us. They write for us to go home. We are so desirous to go that we hardly know how to wait and yet we may be obliged to stay another year. This is the second letter that we have received during the last two years.

Source: Julia Johnson Fisher, 1814-1885 Diary, 1864