Diary of Mary Ann Jones, January 7, 11, 1865
Mary Jones, a prominent woman of Liberty County, Georgia, lived with her daughter, Mary Mallard and her husband, Reverend Mallard, when Sherman and his troops came through their county. Mary Jones’ husband had been the head of the historic Midway Congressional Church in the county, but died during the Civil War in 1863. The troops that stayed in the Savannah region at the start of the year in 1865 made living conditions rough, taking away basic items such as food and degrading the inhabitants of the area. While rough on Mary Jones, she demonstrated the courage and resistance to Sherman’s men, not to let them break her, like many other Southern women. To press on in the troubling times Jones used religion, for the hope of better days that would come. The main photo is of the Historic Midway Congressional Church that still stands.
January 7, 1865
. . . . To obtain a mouthful of food we have been obliged to cook in what was formerly our drawing room, and I have to rise every morning by candle light before the dawn of day, that we may have it before the enemy arrives to take it from us, & then sometimes we & the dear little ones have not a chance to eat again before dark. The poor servants are harrassed to death going rapidly for wood or water & hurrying in to lock the doors, fearing insults & abuse at every turn.
Do the annals of civilized, & I may add, Savage warfare, afford any record of brutality equaled in extent & duration to that which we have suffered? And which has been inflicted on us by the Yankees? For one month our homes & all we possess on earth have been given up to lawless pillage. Officers & men have alike engaged in this work of degradation. I scarcely know how we have stood up under it . . . .
January 11, 1865. . . . We know not the state of our cause or the condition of affairs in the Confederacy. Clouds & darkness are [a]round about us. The hand of the Almighty is laid in sore judgement upon us. We are a desolated & smitten people. What the Divine decrees concerning us all, remain with Infinite Wisdom [sic]. We see not, we know not, but we cling to the hope, that when our Heavenly Father hath sufficiently chastened & humbled us as individuals & as a nation, in wrath he will remember mercy & that we shall be purged & purified in this furnace of affliction and brought out a wiser & a better people to His honor & His glory.
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