Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friday, November 6, 1863

Peggy's comment:
Julia did not make an entry in her journal on this day, however her nephew, Rufus R. Dawes, did write a letter to his fiancĂ©, Mary Gates:

We had an interesting visitor in camp to-day.  He was an old school Virginia gentleman, of one of their patrician families.  The old gentleman was a pattern of method and precision in his manners, and there was the urbanity and consideration for others of the true gentlemen of the real old stock.  He said that he had been an officer in the 'War of 1812'--that he had General Washington's own pistols.  He was well acquainted with President Madison and President Monroe, and edified us with anecdotes and illustrations of the men of his day and generation.  His visit was much enjoyed by all.  The old gentleman was carried away by talking, and he said:  "I am eighty years of age.  My grandfather was a Virginia gentleman; my great grandfather was a Frenchman, and, begging your indulgence to an old man, I thank God that to-day I stand as they would in this struggle."  Said I:  "My dear Sir, your enthusiasm is worthy of imitation by us who are younger, but your cause is no older in your family than ours is in mine.  My ancestors came to New England when yours came to Virginia, and they flourished in Massachusetts, and I thank God I live in the day to fight for their principles."  Said the old gentleman:  "I always did admire a full blown Yankee."

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