Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/67
Diary of Captain Robert E. Park.
to stop the gambling and noise after ten o'clock, and many of the leading gamblers have approved the idea. Colonel Wm. J. Clark, Twenty-fourth North Carolina troops, has been elected chief of the division, and made a short speech, announcing that, by vote, it was agreed that all lights should be put out and quiet observed after the usual nine o'clock prayers. My friends Arrington and Browne aided me actively in canvassing in favor of this excellent change. Colonel Clark is an old army officer. Midshipman Howell, a relative of Mr. Davis, is an inmate of 28. Lieutenant E. H. Crawley, Twenty-sixth Georgia; Captain J. H. Field, Eighth Georgia; Lieutenant Q. D. Finley, Eighteenth Mississippi, and Adjutant Alex. S. Webb, of Forty-fourth North Carolina troops, are among the inmates also.
The newspaper accounts of Sherman's march from Georgia through South Carolina are heartrending. An extract from one of them says: "Sherman burnt Columbia on the seventeenth instant. He had burnt six out of seven farm houses on the route of his march. Before he reached Columbia, he had burned Blackville, Graham, Bamburg, Buford's bridge and Lexington, and had not spared the humblest hamlet. After he left Columbia, he gave to the flames the villages of Allston, Pomaria, Winnsboro', Blackstock, Society Hill, and the towns of Camden and Cheraw." Would that the prisoners at Fort Delaware could be exchanged and sent to confront this ruthless, heartless destroyer of the homes and subsistence of helpless women and children. We would teach him a wholesome lesson." The paragraph quoted reminds me of a letter written by General Sheridan. After the battle of Fisher's Hill, he wrote from Strasburg as follows: "Lieutenant J. R. Meigs, my engineer officer, was murdered beyond Harrisburg, near Dayton. For this atrocious act, all the houses within an area of five miles were burned. In moving back to this point, the whole country, from the Blue Ridge to the North Mountain, has been made entirely untenable for a rebel army. I have destroyed over 2,000 barns, filled with wheat, hay and farming implements, over 70 mills, filled with flour and wheat; have driven in front of the army over 4,000 head of stock, and have killed and issued to the troops not less than 3,000 sheep. This destruction embraces the Luray Valley and the Little Fort Valley, as well as the Main Valley." These two vandals fight with the torch better than the sword, and seem to glory in their own infamy. The South Carolina pris-