In Their Own Words
May 18, 1865
Diary Recorded Encounter with Plundering Yankees
Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of her family encountering some plundering Yankee soldiers.
“…We had just finished eating and got into our wrappers when two rebel horsemen came galloping up the avenue with news that a large body of Yankee cavalry was advancing down the Greensborough road, plundering the country as they passed. We hastily threw on our clothes and were busy concealing valuables for father, when the tramping of horses and shouting of the men reached our ears. Then they began to pass by our street gate, with two of their detestable old flags flaunting in the breeze. I ran for Garnett’s field-glass and watched them through it. Nearly all of them had bags of plunder tied to their saddles, and many rode horses which were afterwards recognized as belonging to different planters in the county. I saw one rascal with a ruffled pillowcase full of stolen goods, tied to his saddle, and some of them had women’s drawers tied up at the bottom ends, filled with plunder and slung astride their horses. There was a regiment of negroes with them, and they halted right in front of our gate. Think of it! Bringing armed negroes here to threaten and insult us! We were so furious that we shook our fists and spit at them from behind the window where we were sitting. It may have been childish, but it relieved our feelings. None of them came within the enclosure, but the officers pranced about before the gate until I felt as if I would like to take a shot at them myself, if I had had a gun, and known how to use it. They are camped for the night on the outskirts of the town, and everybody expects to be robbed before morning. Father loaded his two guns, and after the servants had been dismissed, we hid the silver in the hollow by the chimney up in the big garret, and father says it shall not be brought out again till the country becomes more settled. A furious storm came up just at sunset, and I hope it will confine the mongrel crew to their tents.”
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 261-262.