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In Their Own Words

March 11, 1865

Diary Entry on Seeing Soldier from Hometown

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of seeing a soldier from her hometown of Washington, Georgia - on his way to fight in Florida - if he could get through over the many flooded roads.

“Played euchre and wrote letters all the morning. Capt. Rust gave me a pretty tucking-comb which he had carved himself, out of maple wood. We had an early dinner and reached Wooten’s at least half an hour before the train was due. At the depot in Albany, Albert Bacon, Joe Godfrey, Mr. Baldwin, and Gen. Graves were waiting for us. We drove by the post office to get the mail, and there half a dozen others surrounded the carriage and took the reins from Uncle Aby so that he could not drive away. The people in the street laughed as they went by to see them buzzing round the carriage like bees, and presently Jim Chiles found Mary Leila Powers and Mrs. Bell and brought them up to add to the hubbub. Poor old Aby despaired of ever getting us out of town, and when at last we started down the street, we had not gone a hundred yards when I saw a young officer in a captain’s uniform running after us and we came to another halt. It turned out to be Wallace Brumby. He says that he left Washington two weeks ago, and is water-bound here, on his way to Florida, where some of his men are straggling about, if they haven’t been swallowed up by the freshets that have disorganized everything. He promised to stop at Pine Bluff on his way down, and give us the news. Then Uncle Aby grew desperate, and seeing another squad of officers coming up to join Capt. Brumby, whipped up his horses and drove off without further ceremony. He was right to hurry, for the roads are so flooded that we had to travel 20 miles to get home. Everything is under water. In some places the front wheels were entirely submerged and we had to stand on the seats to keep our feet dry. It was nine o’clock before we reached home, and Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Meals had become so uneasy that they were about to send a man on horseback to see what had become of us. I found letters from home waiting for us, with permission to go to Chunnennuggee or anywhere else we want to. Communication between here and Washington is so interrupted that I don’t suppose they have heard yet of the reported raid into Florida, and all our writing back and forth is at cross purposes. The latest news is that the Yankees have whipped our forces at Tallahassee, but the waters are so high and communication so uncertain that one never knows what to believe. At any rate, I shall not run till I hear that the enemy are at Thomasville.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 115-116.