Friday, July 22, 2011

Monday July 22

Exciting rumors are afloat today about the action at Manassas Junction.  A heavy loss of life but nothing very positive.  Our troops are said to have driven the rebels two miles and have taken their batteries, so far, but with a loss of 3000 killed and wounded.  The loss of the enemy unknown but thought to be severe.  We can only pray that "God himself will be with us for our Captain" and fight for us and save us.
Ephe came down from town this morning bringing with him Mr. Chatfield a member of the Michigan Coldwater Artillery, who has been very sick in hospital with typhoid fever, but is now slowly recovering.  We hope that a week in the country will benefit him.  He spent last week at Mrs. Dawes'.  Lucy went home this morning having spent last night with Maggie.  She & Kate went this morning to the graveyard to see the stone lately put up at Henry M. Dawes' grave, at Lucy's expense.

Peggy's comments:
Julia's use of the word "exciting" shows how word meanings change over the years.  While we now think of exciting news or excitement as something positive, 150 years ago the word was generally used to mean chaotic or causing mental or emotional agitation.

News travelled by telegraph dispatch and by newspaper but was not instantaneous.  Early reports were frequently incorrect.  The battle at Manassas Junction (Bull Run) occurred the day before this journal entry on July 21 so news was just beginning to reach Julia.

Henry M. Dawes was Julia's nephew, the older brother of Kate, Lucy, Jane, Rufus, and Ephe Dawes.  A lawyer in Marietta, Henry became ill and died the previous August at the age of 28.
Henry Manasseh Dawes

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