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Diary of James Rumley, August 4, 1863


Diary of James Rumley, August 4, 1863


This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of Aug 4th, 1863. In this entry, Rumley described African Americans and their plans for celebrating the “day of national thanksgiving” appointed by President Lincoln on July 14th 1863. The “day of national thanksgiving” was a day of celebration to remember the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. From this excerpt, Rumley stated that the African Americans celebrated by praising God and singing hymns to the Union cause in the church. Those actions infuriate Rumley as he believed that African Americans were loyal to the South before poisoned by the Union’s “fanaticism”. Most importantly, Rumley condemned African Americans as “traitors”, a common theme throughout his diary. Rumley felt betrayed by African Americans, as they were no longer faithful to his cause and praised/fought for the North.


Rumley, James


Judkin Browning, ed. The Southern Mind under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865 (Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2009).




Ballentine, Jay




Craven County, North Carolina
Carteret County, North Carolina

Original Format



... The negroes are celebrating the day, in the African Church, with all the enthusiasm which such an occasion is calculated to inspire among the deluded and excited race. With hymns of praise to God are mingled prayers for the success of the "Union Armies," and for the speedy downfall of the "rebellion." these are the foes the south has nursed and reared on her own sunny field; harmless, were faithful to her when let alone, but easily converted into traitors, and filled with venomous hate by the poisonous breath of fanaticism...


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Rumley, James, Diary of James Rumley, August 4, 1863, Civil War Era NC, accessed July 17, 2024,