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In Their Own Words

January 19, 1865

Diary Entry on Rain, Religion, Feeding a Passing Soldier

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of more rain, more religious debate (with an interesting look at slavery), and a passing soldier stopping in for a meal.

I suffered a great disappointment to-day. Mrs. Stokes Walton gave a big dining - everybody in the neighborhood, almost everybody in the county that is anybody was invited. I expected to wear that beautiful new dress that ran the blockade and I have had so few opportunities of showing. All my preparations were made, even the bows of ribbon pinned on my undersleeves, but I was awakened at daylight by the pattering of rain on the roof, and knew that the fun was up for me. It was out of the question for one just up from an attack of measles to risk a ride of twelve miles in such a pouring rain, so I had to content myself to stay at home with the two old ladies and be edified with disquisitions on the Apostolic Succession and Baptism by Immersion. They are both good enough to be translated, and I can’t see why the dear little souls should be so disturbed about each other’s belief. Once, when Mrs. Meals left the room for some purpose, Mrs. Sims whispered to me confidentially: “There is so little gentility among these dissenters - that is one reason why I hate to see her among them.” I could hardly keep from laughing out, but that is what a good deal of our religious differences amount to. I confess to a strong prejudice myself, in favor of the old church in which I was brought up; still I don’t think there ought to be any distinction of classes or races in religion. We all have too little “gentility” in the sight of God for that. I only wish I stood as well in the recording Angel’s book as many a poor negro that I know. About noon a cavalryman stopped at the door and asked for dinner. As we eat late, and the man was in too big a hurry to wait, sister sent him a cold lunch out in the entry. It was raining very hard, and the poor fellow was thoroughly drenched, so after he had eaten, sister invited him to come into the parlor and dry himself. It came out, in the course of conversation, that he was from our own part of Georgia, and knew a number of good old Wilkes County families. He was on his way to the Altamaha, he said, and promised to do his best to keep the raiders from getting to us.

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 71-72.