2 September 1864: “he now thought it too sad a War, to increase its terrors more than can possibly be avoided”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 2 September 1864, written by William King. King was a plantation owner from Cobb County, Georgia. He remained alone on his plantation to protect his property and slaves from depredations by federal forces.


Item Citation: From folder 1 in the William King Papers, #02985-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

2 Sept. 1864.

In going to town this morning, I met at the Picket Station some country women, some wanted to get Letters from the P.O. & anxious to see her father & family who were in town to leave for Ind’a. I promised to hunt him & deliver the message, after an hours hunt I ascertained that he had gone the preceding, I found no Letters for the others, they remained until I returned at 12 o’clock, when I made my report & they left. I made many visit in town, Mr. Goodman in rather better spirits, but still blue. Old Mr. Simpson in a very bad humor, he says he stays in his house all the time, that he has nothing to say to any of the people, & does not want to see one of them–the old gentleman is fretting away all his comfort. I hear some of our wounded prisoners are suffering much for want of Tobacco, unfortunately I had neither money nor tobacco to give them, but must try to make some arrangements to assist them. I went to see Mrs. Campbell & Mrs. Brown about the prisoners wants, they were giving me an account of their own tryals & annoyances–their servants had been enticed away from them, & they left alone together. [torn] to be very popular with the Federal officers & soldiers, many came [torn] know you she said & talk of you with the greatest respect, as [torn] world& all of you–D. Young seems much worsted by his [torn] to the place, taking a long route around by Warsaw ferry to get here.

Yesterday afternoon I had very pleasant visit from Capt. a Q.M. from St. Louis, a Fremont man & abolitionist, a man of much good sense, a German. At Mr. Goodman’s I met a Mr. Johnson, who stays with him, he is connected with the P. O. department, a man of much good feelings, he told me of a number of suffering families about, & his efforts to try to partial supply their pressing wants, Mr. G. said he had relieved a great many, & that he keeps actively engaged at it, going much around in the neighborhood.

A country woman told me today that a Wagon from Harralson Co. in returning Home, had stopped at Col. Lester’s House, & taken with them a load of furniture. Stealing & killing seems to be the great Business of the day. I went to McC. this afternoon & heard that several Wagon & men had this afternoon near town on the Roswell Road.

young men from town called to see me this afternoon & spent about an hour, one a sergent from Ohio about 20 yrs. I found a very intelligent & pleasant young man, he said when he came into the Army his feelings against the South was very bitter, & he thought he would willingly & cheerfully destroy any Rebel property, but after being among the people, and having intercourse with them, his feelings had undergone great change, and he now thought it too sad a War, to increase its terrors more than can possibly be avoided, & efforts aut to be made to bring it to a close. Mrs. Miller & Dr. made me a visit this afternoon & a very agreeable one, they staid some time with me, I promised to dine with her tomorrow, she wants to return Home in October & wants me to wait for her, I told her it was probable I would have to wait until then, but I do hope I may be able to get off before. I met Mrs. Hunt is town this morning, she told me that Mr. Hunt was still confined at home under guard, that he was ignorant of the cause of his arrest. I must get permission from Gen’l McArthur to go & see him, & if possible to try & get him relieved, he is one of the last men of whom I would suspect wrong doing.



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