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In Their Own Words

January 26, 1864

Diary Entry on Civil War Effects on Neighbors

Julia Johnson Fisher - a woman staying in Camden County during the war - wrote in her diary of the effects the war was having on some of her neighbors.

Mr. Fisher and myself went to see Mrs. Alberti (who lives in Florida and has just returned from the North) to get information. She found great difficulty in obtaining a passport to return and met with so many detentions and obstacles that it has quite dampened my ardor for going, but Mr. Fisher is in no wise daunted. I dislike to leave on account of Sybil and feel as if there is great uncertainty about going. We stayed over night with Mrs. Alberti, had a cup of real coffee and tea with sugar and milk, and biscuit and butter. Our ride was about 23 miles and all the way through pine woods. Now and then a house to cheer the sight. We were upset once by the breaking of a rein, the buggy was turned completely over and left in the gutter. We fortunately were near a house where we procured help. The spinning wheel was going briskly–the women were hard at work trying to clothe the family while the men were in the army. They were indifferent as to the termination of the war if it would only end that they might be kept from starvation. We stopped at Dr. Mitchell’s. Mrs. Mitchell put on an old cloak to hide her rags and says they are experiencing great destitution. We have frequent applications from people far and near for clothing. So far as we can ascertain people seem certain that the confederacy is short lived; that this year must terminate the war. Confederate money is almost valueless. Worth only five cents on the dollar. Dr. Mitchell prepared for me a bottle of cough mixture and a few powders–charged $8.00. Sent in Sybil’s bill, a little short of $300 for eight or nine visits–and refuses confederate money. Julia writes that she will soon visit us and bring some necessary articles.

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