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In Their Own Words

May 07, 1865

Few Attendended Church Because of Yankees

Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of few people attending church because of Yankee presence, as her hatred for them seemed to grow stronger - she had other choice comments to make in this entry.

“I went to the Baptist church and heard a good sermon from Mr. Tupper on the text: “For now we live by faith, and not by sight.” There was not a word that could give the Yankees a handle against us, yet much that we poor rebels could draw comfort from. The congregation was very small, and I am told the same was the case at all the other churches, people not caring to have their devotions disturbed by the sight of the “abomination of desolation” in their holy places. … Fred has just returned from Greensborough [Ga.], where he went to look after some horses and wagons of Brother Troup’s department, but both had been seized by our soldiers. I am glad they got them instead of the Yanks. It is a case of cheating the devil. He says the Yankees are plundering right and left around Athens. They ran a train off the track on the Athens Branch, and robbed the passengers. They have not given any trouble in Washington to-day, as the greater part of the cavalry that came to town on Saturday have passed on, and the garrison, or provost guard, or whatever the odious thing is called, are probably afraid to be too obstreperous while so many Confederate troops are about. They have taken up their quarters in the courthouse now, but have not yet raised their old flaring rag on the spot where our own brave boys placed the first rebel flag, that my own hands helped to make. I wish our troops would get into a fracas with them and thrash them out of town. Since they have set a price on the head of our president, “immortal hate and study of revenge” have taken possession of my heart, and it don’t make me love them or their detestable old flag any better because I have to keep my feelings pent up. Father won’t let me say anything against the old flag in his presence, but he can’t keep me from thinking and writing what I please. I believe I would burst sometimes, if I didn’t have this safety-valve. He may talk about the way Union men were suppressed when they tried to oppose secession, but now, the Yankees are denying us not only liberty of speech and of the press, but even of prayer, forcing the ministers in our Church to read the prayer for their old renegade of a president and those other odious persons “in authority” at Washington. Well, as Bishop Elliot says, I don’t know anybody that needs it more. … “

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 225-227.