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In Their Own Words

April 18, 1865

Diary Entry on Final Days of Civil War

Eliza Frances Andrews’ journal entry for April 18, 1865 clearly shows the effects of the impending loss of the Civil War:

“The first train on the Georgia R.R., from Atlanta to Augusta, was scheduled to run through to-day, and we started off on the Macon & Western so as to reach Atlanta in time to take the next one down, to-morrow. There was such a crowd waiting at the depot that we could hardly push our way through, and when the ladies’ car was opened there was such a rush that we considered ourselves lucky to get in at all… . Many people had to leave theirs [baggage] behind, and some decided to stay with their trunks; they contained all that some poor refugees had left them. The trains that went out this morning were supposed to be the last that would leave the city, as the Yankees were expected before night, and many predicted we would be captured. There was a terrible rush on all the outgoing trains… . People who could not get inside were hanging on wherever they could find a sticking place; the aisles and platform down to the last step were full of people clinging on like bees swarming around the doors of a hive… . A party of refugees from Columbus were seated near us, and they seemed nearly crazed with excitement. Mary Eliza Rutherford, who was always a great scatter-brain when I knew her at school, was among them, and she jumped up on the seat, tore down her back hair and went off into regular hysterics at the idea of falling into the hands of the Yankees. Such antics would have been natural enough in the beginning of the war, when we were new to these experiences, but now that we are all old soldiers, and used to raids and vicissitudes, people ought to know how to face them quietly … .”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 149-151.