The continued letter to her daughter Dolly…………
One day, two men came to my gate and asked me if I lived there. I told them “Yes.” I was sure they were Yankees as they were dressed like them. Oh! How frightened I was, for I wondered how they knew my name.
They stopped at the gate and asked me to come out to them. I refused; of course, they came a little nearer and still wished me to come to them. I said, ”No I will not.” They whispered together awhile and then came up the steps and said, “I wish to speak to you privately.” I said, “Say out whatever you wish to say, as these are my children and they can hear it, too.”
They then told me they were Confederates and they had escaped from Ft. Pulaski where they had been detained for 22 months. They were amongst the prisoners who were sent up to Charleston in a vessel to be under fire at that port. They told me how they escaped, what a time they had in the rice fields near Savannah, traveling only at night and nearly starved.
They crept up to a house in Purysburg one night and found out only an old woman lived there. They asked her to tell them the way to Augusta without running up with the Yankees. She told them how to cross the Savannah River at a place above where she lived and to hunt me up. Perhaps I could tell them how to get to Augusta. She told them she did not know of any other family who resided in Georgia. That was how they knew my name.
The poor fellows were half starved and one was suffering very much with scurvy. They showed me letters they had to prove who they were. One was a Major Stewart. I have forgotten the Lieutenant’s name. They had to almost cut their shoes off their feet, they were so swollen. I gave them what I had to eat and a good bed to sleep in and the next day I sent one of the boys with them to a place I knew Wheeler’s Cavalry would be so they could get with their army. I was told they published a letter in the Augusta paper to let their friends know they were safe.
That was all the food or help I ever did that came in my way. I had at last to refugee with my children to an adjoining county as I could not stand the nervous strain of expecting the Yankees every day.
Well, the war ended. We were left without food or clothing — had to commence the world anew. No wonder so many strong and brave men sunk under it. My husband did not live long after the war and I had to do the best I could to raise my children. I went to work cheerfully for I knew all that depended upon me. And amidst few notions of every sort and hard laborious work. For without money we could not hire a servant. And I, who had never known what want was, have gone through this and much more if I could take the time to write it. I do not think any woman who was raised in the South as I was has ever suffered as I have. Many have had to do without, but what were luxuries to them were necessities to me.
I raised my little ones through it all to be good Christian men and women, a specimen of which is a member of your chapter (UDC).* God has been very kind to me through it all. My children were all good healthy children, loving their old Mother with a love not often seen in these days. I am now very old, having passed my three score years and ten, and feel my work is nearly over. God has enabled me to forgive my enemies, and I hope to die in peace. If you think there is any heroism in this you can use it. I only feel I have done my duty.
*The forgoing was written for use at a United Daughters of Confederacy meeting by “Dolly,” Mrs. Daisy (Strobhar) Noble wife of James Noble. Her family pet name was “Dolly.”
We thank Joe Oliver, a direct descendant for sharing this letter with Historic Effingham.
This was copied by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos to share, questions or comments, you can reach her at 754-6681 or email: email@example.com.