Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3, 1864: The diary of Judith White McGuire

In Richmond, refugee Judith White McGuire begins her war work with the Confederate Commissary Department.
January 3, 1864.

Entered on the duties of my office on the 30th of December. So far I like it well. “The Major” is very kind, and considerate of our comfort; the duties of the office are not very onerous, but rather confining for one who left school thirty-four years ago, and has had no restraint of the kind during the interim. The ladies, thirty-five in number, are of all ages, and representing various parts of Virginia, also Maryland and Louisiana. Many of them are refugees. It is melancholy to see how many wear mourning for brothers or other relatives, the victims of war. One sad young girl sits near me, whose two brothers have fallen on the field, but she is too poor to buy mourning. I found many acquaintances, and when I learned the history of others, it was often that of fallen fortunes and destroyed homes. One young lady, of highsounding Maryland name, was banished from Baltimore, because of her zeal in going to the assistance of our Gettysburg wounded. The society is pleasant, and we hope to get along very agreeably. I am now obliged to visit the hospital in the afternoon, and I give it two evenings in the week. It is a cross to me not to be able to give it more time; but we have very few patients just now, so that it makes very little difference.

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