6 September 1864: “God meant all his creatures to work”

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:

6 Sept. 1864.

Nothing new in town this morning, I visitted Mrs. Postell, D. Young & Mr. Goodman, Mr. G. had been out to his place, the first time for about 6 weeks, says Mrs. Brown is taking good care of every thing, thinks he will move there in a month, where he can get wood in the winter. I called on Col. Ross (the com’t) for permission to visit Mr. Hunt in his confinement at Home, he gave his consent to my doing so [torn] when I called at the House the guard told me he had positive orders to permit no one to visit him without a written order, so I have to delay my visit to him until I am provided with a written order which I will try to get in a few days, they were all well. The poor good man must be very lonely without any of the society of his old acquaintances. I deeply sympathize with him–the good & the Wicked suffer together in this world. Mrs. Postell has her 2 children with her, she tells me she has been getting on very well, having had some of the Federal officers boarding with her all the time. The last of them left her yesterday; I advised her to get some more to come & stay with her, her children have not been well & she looks thin; she says her servants have remained faithfully with them; while many others have deserted their best friends, to enjoy the poor Negroes idea of freedom, that is perfect idleness, not knowing that God meant all his creatures to work, the poor must work, the rich ought to. The streets in M’a are all barricaded, the Episcopal, Presbyterian & Baptist Churches are used as Hospitals. The Methodist Church, I understand, is open, but occ’d by the Negroes for their services. Preaching by the Christian Commission is conducted on Sundays & prayer meetings in the week held at Mr. A. Green’ s Store. I will try to attend next Sabbath. Mrs. Brown made me a visit this afternoon, she talks very dull, she does not know how they are to live the coming winter. I look forward with sad anticipation [torn] for the poor people of this country the coming winter; the [torn] God will provide for them, they have generally lost [torn] & are not allowed to buy any thing, even if [torn] What an accumulation of sufferings have been [torn] instigators of this sad & criminal War. [torn] so miserably by the [torn] What an affliction to any people [torn] who would cause to others any suffering [torn] our ambitious views. I truly hope our [torn] may warn the people in future to place [torn] wisdom or honesty of professed politicians. I [torn] most of them, the worst & most dangerous[torn] & so little has my confidence been in them from my boyhood, that I have never voted a Democratic nor Whig ticket, never having identified myself with either party; but always been at war with both, for their intolerable corruption. Rain again this afternoon, it rained heavily & constantly last night. Mrs. Brown tells me that old Mrs. Brewer got off on Sunday to go to her son’s near Canton, where there is less probability of her starving. My guard (Cox) has been amusing himself for the past 2 days hunting for game with the Shot Gun, to provide for our table use, but without success. I tell him if we depend on his luck we would starve; this afternoon he brought in a pig which he had shot, but I not think it is one of ours, but in these War times he & Sharper says property has no particular owner, such seems to be the practical opinion of most people. War is a great demoralizer. Raining this afternoon.


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