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Georgia Hicks, "These Ruffians" (March, 1865)


Georgia Hicks, "These Ruffians" (March, 1865)


In her diary entry from March of 1865, Georgia Hicks detailed her encounter with "bummers" from General Sherman's army. She described a most gruesome sight in which her father was taken from their household and hung twice from the neck by the bummers for information on possible valuables the family may have hidden. This description from Hicks outlined the treatment citizens in the outskirts of Goldsboro received while Sherman and his forces occupied the city. While those in the city had protection, citizens in the outskirts of the town, like Hicks were not so protected and had to encounter hardship like this throughout the occupation.


Hicks, Georgia


Katharine M Jones, When Sherman Came: Southern Women and the "Great March" (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964), 297.




Stafford, Scott




Faison, North Carolina

Original Format



My courageous mother saw her husband, Doctor James H. Hicks, carried away in the night by the soldiers on the pretext of attending a sick man. She pled with him not to go but his one thought was to relieve suffering. He was carried far away and when he was brought back later, he had the appearance of a man that had almost seen death. These ruffians hung him by the neck twice, in their endeavor to secure information as to hidden valuables. They finally released their victim who refused to divulge his secrets. He never recovered from this terrible shock.
One day when a man came down stairs with his arms full of silk dresses, Miss Rachael McIver, "sister cousin" of Mrs. Hicks, ordered him to put them down. He laughed loud, jumped on his horse and galloped away.


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Hicks, Georgia, Georgia Hicks, "These Ruffians" (March, 1865), Civil War Era NC, accessed March 18, 2018,