21 January 1864: “Hell is truth seen too late.”

Item description: Diary entry, 21 January 1864, describing violence and casualties among civilians and deserters, written by Jason Niles. Niles practiced law for 46 years in Kosciusko, Miss., and served as a Republican U. S. representative from 1873-1875. His diaries are an unusually full and articulate record of the experiences and opinions of a New Englander residing in the South.

[Item transcription available below images]

18640121001Item citation: From folder 17 of the Jason Niles Papers #950Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Jany 21, 1864- Walked with Lindsay down to the Bridge and across & back. Henry Jamison came back with us–Sally sick–Pleasant, sunny day.

Memoranda of Trip to Jasper

At Mr. Lay’s and at other places, we learned that the house of a widow named Abbott in Newton County had been burnt by the cavalry because some dogs had been poisoned by her–also that a Dr. Morris had been killed (“shot all to pieces”) in same county by bushwhackers, for piloting cavalry–that in Wayne Co. a woman by drawing a gun on a deserter had “stampeded” him–that in Jones Co. a deserter named Warren Waters had been killed and some of “the cavalry” killed and wounded–

In Hannah More’s “Practical Piety” I remember she cites a celebrated Professor, who “taught Chemistry that he might learn it.” Also Dr. Johnson’s question–“Where is the world into which we were born?” Also some author’s remark that “Hell is truth seen too late.”

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