"Sons at War and Refugeeing Daughters"
"For Mary Allan Wright [of Wilmington] the war clouds must have appeared especially dark. She lost her eyesight in 1856 and her beloved husband in 1861. Her four surviving sons all took part in the Civil War. Adam Empie Wright survived it unscathed. Joshua Grainger Wright was wounded. James Allan was killed on June 26, 1862. Charles Thomas died May 26, 1864.
After the war, his brother, Joshua Grainger wrote [to aunt, Julia Wear]:
"Our youngest brother Charles Thomas, aged seventeen, received his death wound at the Battle of the Wilderness, while acting as adjutant. Although so young, it was impossible to keep him from what he deemed the path of duty. Nothing but the most implicit faith and submission to God's will enabled my dear mother to bear the heavy trials of such distressing times. Those only who have been afflicted as we have been, know what it is like to lose such dear and noble sons…..As you are living in the country we hope you are spared the mortification of seeing Yankee Officers….and trust the day may not be far distant when we will be rid of [them]."
Young Joshua wrote from Fayetteville where the female members of his family had refugeed the last three years of the war. [The Wright women had] doubtless . . . heard stories of Yankee atrocities, such as the ones Melinda Ray of Fayetteville told.
"Gentlemen were hung up and shot at to extort from them where their imaginary treasure was concealed. (One man) was hung up twice, shot at once, and finally his house was burnt. (The Yankees] behaved as bummers or wretches, feeling no delicacy in helping themselves to silver, books, or any other particle they particularly fancied; and acting in the most disagreeable manner. Blair, a Yankee General, boasted while here that he had all the silver belonging to Colonel McFarlane of Cheraw, South Carolina in his possession."
(The Wrights of Wilmington, Susan Taylor Block, Wilmington Printing Company, 1992, pp. 78-79)
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