Friday, June 14, 2013

"They Whipped Mrs. R"

Chester, South Carolina, [February]. 27, 1865
"My Darling Sister,  I am so rejoiced to be able to once more write you though it is more than probable this letter may never reach its destination. Every day we were in hourly expectation of a visit from Sherman's troops. When Columbia was evacuated they sent all the Government stores to this place….The Treasury Department went through to Charlotte. I saw a good many of the girls….only stayed a few hours and were very anxious for me to go to North Carolina…..
I must tell you some of the outrages the Yankees have committed around here. An old man by the name of Brice lived in Fairfield District….The Yankees hung him because he would not tell where he had hid his money and silver.  They robbed every house they passed, burnt a great many.  They have burnt Tom Boulware's and some houses near there, burnt Mary S. DeG's gin house, cribs, etc., and took two watches and some other things from here.
They stripped old Mrs. R., Kate's mother, and whipped her, destroyed everything Mrs. N. Beckham had to eat and the Boulware's and Watson's, I hear, are living off the  corn left by our cavalry men in the woods.  It has been some time since I have had as comfortable a night's rest as I had last night….
Wheeler's men killed sixteen Yanks I hear in retaliation for whipping Mrs. R.  Oh Ann, I do think the idea of a Lady's being stripped and whipped by those villains is outrageous, the most awful thing I have heard of.  Oh Annie, is it not awful to see the way our people are suffering and the sin that is committed…..I just know people cannot die from fear….."
(When Sherman Came: Southern Women and the "Great March," Katherine M. Jones, Bobbs-Merrill, 1964, pp. 229-230)

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