|The surviving children of Arvah and Susan Hopkins: |
standing left to right: William, John B., Edwin, Arvah
Seated: Charles, Teresa, Richard, George
January 8th, I86o.-This is Aunt Sue's birthday; and she is spending the day with us. She brought the boys and Teresa and little Mary Eliza, who is a darling. Cousin Henry Whitaker is here, Aunt Sue and Mother love him dearly; but he hurt Aunt Sue's feelings today. He is a great tease and sometimes he is not as careful as he should be not to give offense. Since all this trouble between the North and South, there is a tendency to say disagreeable things and you often hear of "Yankees'" and always in derision. Everybody does not do this but you do hear it sometimes. Cousin Henry lives in North Carolina and we do not see him often, Aunt Sue called her children to speak to him and as he shook hands with the dear little boys he said: "Well, Sue, what are you going to make of these little Yankees?'"
December 25th, 1862.—We reached home on the 24th but it is not like Christmas. No frolicking for anybody as Cousin Martha died yesterday morning and will be buried here tomorrow. Everybody loved her and grieves that she has gone. Aunt Sue is in trouble, for little Mary Eliza is sick unto death and Father and Mother are with her today. She has typhoid pneumonia and she has always been delicate. Father has seven sick soldiers but none of them in danger at present, although he thought two of them would surely die the first part of the week. He has been fortunate so far, for he has not lost a single patient. Brother Amos stood the trip very well and can handle his crutches better than at first. He can walk about in the house but has to have help to go down the steps. There are so many poor crippled soldiers. Oh, if this terrible war was over!
December 27th, 1862.—Mother has a letter in the mail, which has just come telling of dear Grandpa’s illness. He went out on the ice to direct the man who was using the ice plow and took a violent cold. We feel very anxious. Mary Eliza is no better. The papers say the armies have gone into winter quarters and we will have no more fighting until spring.
January 3rd, I863.-My dear, dear Grandpa is dead. I loved him so well and now I will never see him again. Mother was all ready to start to North Carolina today but a telegram came telling the sad news. Mary Eliza died in the night and she will be buried here tomorrow. There is trouble and sorrow on every side. It proved to be whooping cough poor little Mary Eliza had and Mattie and I have taken it. I thought it was a baby disease but it seems grown people can have it. Our men in camp are suffering for blankets. Mother has sent all of hers and she has several of the women on the place at work washing and carding wool, to make comforts to take the place of the covering she has sent to the army. She has already sent all the linen sheets to the Reid Hospital in Richmond; not as sheets but rolled in bandages for dressing wounds. We have used most of the table cloths to scrape lint, for this blockade cuts us off from any supplies for the sick or the wounded. Father has taught Nan to make salve and we ship it every week. She keeps the pot of salve going all the time for our poor soldiers. They need so much and we can do so little.
March 15th, I864.-This is the first entry for more than two weeks but we have been so busy and now I am going to write something that sounds heartless. Goodwood is to open its doors to society. The first time Aunt Sue and Uncle Arvah have entertained since dear little Mary Eliza's death. This party is given in honor of General T. R. R. Cobb and his staff. He is now in command of The Division of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and he is an old friend of the family as well. I felt at first as if I could not possibly enjoy a frolic of any kind but Aunt Sue is so dear and if she wants us we must go. Again the question of dress comes up. To realize just how much of vanity and love of dress one possesses it is needful to be obliged to plan and contrive as we war girls have to do. The big trunk yielded up its treasure and a dress of crepe lisse, very much tumbled came to light. It has a lining of satin and a sash of the same. Lulu is a wonder at pressing and making over and my part is suggesting and trying on. Let me tell you a secret, little Diary; "I have my second grown-up beau." I think I like the boys best, in fact, I know I like the boys best. That is because all my life I have had boy play-mates and now, that these boys look like men and are in the army, they still seem like comrades to me. They like me too; whenever one gets foolish and says silly things to me I laugh at him, and so, I do not lose my friends as I should if they were allowed to deteriorate into lovers.