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In Their Own Words

August 06, 1864

Diary Entry on Yankees Camping Near Home

William King of Cobb County recorded in his diary of a large group of men camping near his home, and his conversations with some of them.

Last night we had encamped about us over 800 men, under t he trees, with about 100 Camp fires burning, with varieties of singing, sacred & mirthful, the Scene was truly a wild one, & while sitting on the Piazza with some of the officers after supper, I could but feel and remark to them what a contrass to former summers, when I and my family & friends were in the habit of sitting on the same Piazza, gently & peacefully enjoying the pleasant evening breezes, & now to be surrounded by the wild scenes of War, although I had so much company, the thoughts soon brought on a fit of the Blues, & I retired early to bed, and soon drowned my dull thoughts in sleep. This morning all is life & bustle again, all preparing for their breakfast. I have had much conversation with the men as well as the officers, all exhibiting good feelings, & anxious for this sad war to close, and deploring the necessity of 2 people so much alike in feeling & character fighting against each other; but that they cannot stop short of reestablishment of the Union. I this morning became acquainted with the Chaplain of this Reg’t (Rev’d Mr. Griffith) a Welch man but for a long time living in Indiana, he is a minister of the Presb. Church about 50 or 60 years of age. A sensible, pleasant & intelligent man, he tells me he will probably have services here tomorrow, much to my gratification, as I have not heard a sermon for about 2 months. I asked him to take a Room in the House with me, but he, like the officers generally, declined, saying it is better for them to share the accommodations as the privates, & refrain from the enjoyments of Luxuries & comforts, but that he will spend much of his time with me while they are encamped here. I suspected last night while we were all talking on the Piazza, from his manner & conversation, that he was a Chaplain. …

Source: Diary of William King; Cobb County, Georgia, 1864