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In Their Own Words

August 29, 1865

Yankee Injustice Recorded in Journal

In Washington, Georgia, Eliza Frances Andrews told a story of Yankee justice, or injustice in this case:

“Capt. Cooley is to be removed and Washington is to have a new commander. Everybody regrets it deeply, and the gentlemen proposed getting up a petition to have him retained, but finally concluded that any such proceeding would only render his removal the more certain. I do not know the name of our new master, but they say he is drunk most of the time, and his men are the ones that acted so badly in the case of Mr. Rhodes, near Greensborough. One of Mr. Rhodes’s ‘freedmen’ lurked in the woods around his plantation, committing such depredations that finally he appealed to the garrison at Greensborough for protection. The commandant ordered him to arrest the negro and bring him to Greensborough for trial. With the assistance of some neighboring planters, Mr. Rhodes succeeded in making the arrest, late one evening. He kept the culprit at his house that night, intending to take him to town next day, but in the meantime, a body of negroes marched to the village and informed the officer that Mr. Rhodes and his friends were making ready to kill their prisoner at midnight. A party of bluecoats was at once dispatched to the Rhodes plantation, where they arrived after the family had gone to bed. Without waiting for admission, they fired two shots into the house, one of which killed Mrs. Rhodes’s brother. They left her alone with the dead man, on a plantation full of insolent negroes, taking the rest of the men to Greensborough, where the Yankees and negroes united in swearing that the Rhodes party had fired upon them. Mr. Rhodes was carried to Augusta, and on the point of being hanged, when a hitch in the evidence saved his life. The Yankees themselves confessed to having fired two shots, of which the dead man, and a bullet lodged in the wall, were proof positive… . Mr. Rhodes’s life was saved, but his property was confiscated - when did a Yankee ever lose sight of the plunder? - while the wretch who shot his brother-in-law was merely removed from Greensborough to another garrison. This and the Chenault case are samples of the peace they are offering us. Heaven grant me rather the horrors of war!”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908),, pp. 382-384.