25 February 1862: “Lord look in mercy upon us in these sad reverses, brought about by our own negligence…”

Item Description: In this diary entry, Rev. Overton Bernard points to the disparities in sheer numbers between Union and Confederate troops. Entreating God’s protection over the Confederacy, he implies the Confederate losses emerged as a result of sinful behavior. Overton Bernard kept his diary while serving as a Methodist minister in Edenton, N.C., 1824, and as a bank employee in Portsmouth, Va., 1858-1863.














Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription

Tuesday 25 February. The prisoners taken at Roanoke Island have been paroled, the Yankees disliking the expense of feeding them and not wanting to spare transports to send them North – Rumors are rife that Fort Donnelson has fallen into the hands of the Lincolnites after a most severe fought battle, of four days, during which our troops performed prodigies of valor amid snow and sleet, hunger and fatigue, after driving back the enemy, who were reinforced by some Fifteen thousand fresh troops, we had to surrender some severn or eight thousand troops, arms, etc. Genls Pillow and Floyd succeeded in cuting their way through the ranks of the enemy and got safe to Nashville with several thousand of their command– That place must fall into the hands of the enemy as it is not well defended. Lord look in mercy upon us in these sad reverses, brought about by our own negligence, and permitted as I fear as a punishment for our national and individual sins. Drunkenness and profanity seem to run to an awful extent in Army, Navy, and some high quarters.

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