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In Their Own Words

March 05, 1865

Diary Entry on Flora, Fauna, Geology of South Georgia

Eliza Frances Andrews’ diary entry for this day was not war-related, but did give some fascinating glimpses of south Georgia flora, fauna, and geology.

“One of the loveliest days I ever saw. We went to a little Methodist church in Starkesville, for the pleasure of the drive. After dinner we walked to the Bubbling Spring, and killed a big snake on the way. The spring is down in a gully, and is simply the mouth of a small underground stream that comes to the surface there. It throws up a kind of black sand that rises on the water like smoke from the stack of a steam engine. The water under ground makes strange sounds, like voices wailing and groaning. Just below the spring is a little natural bridge, the most romantic spot I have seen in the neighborhood. The rocks that border the stream are covered with ferns and brilliant green mosses and liverworts. Palmettoes and bright flowering plants grow in the crevices, and the whole place is shaded by magnolias, willow oaks and myrtles, bound together by gigantic smilax and jessamine vines. At several places there are openings in the ground through which one can peep and see rapid water flowing under our feet. This whole country is riddled with underground streams. At Palmyra, not far from Albany, there is a mill turned by one. The stream was discovered by a man digging a well, to which an accident happened not uncommon in this country - the bottom dropped out. A calf that fell into the well and was supposed to be drowned, turned up a few days after, sound and safe. His tracks led to an opening through which issued water covered with foam. A great roaring was heard, which further exploration showed to come from a fine subterranean waterfall.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 107-108.