Horace Purdy Journal, May 1862 Entry

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MAY 01 – THURSDAY – Mr. Baxter came this morning to build my woodhouse. It began to rain at noon so that he could do nothing in the PM. I went to market in the evening and brought home a gallon of ale from John Rowan’s. I intend to take a little of it every day and see if I gain a little strength and flesh. MAY 02 – FRIDAY – Stormy. I have worked all day in the shop although I have suffered with the headache. The men in the shop having concluded to take no more orders and that we have our pay in cash hereafter as other journeymen are getting in other establishments, the shop hands were called together at Mr. Crofut’s request to hear his proposition which he would make to the men. He proposed to pay us 3 or 5 dollars as he could on Monday and every two weeks thereafter to pay us off in full. But what he now owed the men he wanted to pay off as he could for a while to come. He thought he could probably pay in a few weeks. The proposition was unanimously accepted by the men. He further said that he would like to have us take orders if we could make it convenient to do so for the amount now due us. Father Griswold settled up with Mr. Edward Warren today and reserved according to agreement when he went to work $12.00 which he owed me towards home rent. I charged Father Griswold the money to go towards what I owe him. I took care of Eddie in the evening to let Gussie go to market and to the milliners. MAY 03 – SATURDAY – After I finished my work at the shop, I went over to Mr. Lynes’ and bought two evergreen trees. His hired man having to go to the cars for Mr. Lynes, he brought me and the trees home. I set them immediately. I paid 25 cents each. I received a letter from Cousin Charles Mills who is in the army near Yorktown under general McClellan. Enclosed was his and his brother’s picture taken on a card. MAY 04 – SUNDAY – Pleasant. I went to church in the morning as usual. Brother Wooley, late chaplain of the 8th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers under General Burnside in North Carolina, preached for us from Romans 11:3. After Sunday School was out, I came home and Gussie attended in the PM. Father and Mother came down after tea and went to hear Mr. Wooley give a lecture in the evening on the war and his experiences as chaplain at the battles of Roanoke Island and New Berne. He is lecturing and taking collections to procure chaplains’ tents and books and good reading matter for soldiers The two Presbyterian and Baptist churches closed their churches and assembled in mass at our church to hear the lecture. The house was filled to overflowing. Mother Griswold took care of the baby so that Gussie and I could attend. It was very interesting. Mr. Gilbert, the carpenter, lost a boy about 5 years old last night with Scarlet Fever. MAY 05 – MONDAY – Showers all day with some very heavy thunder. I had some words with John Pollett about a shilling I owed him when making change for an apple tree I sold him on the 19th of last month. I paid him the shilling twice on account of his forgetting that I had paid him the first time. I paid him the second time Saturday evening just before we left the shop. I told him that I had paid him twice and he called me a liar. I believe that he was honest in thinking that he had not paid me previously, he having forgotten it completely and he being naturally very impulsive and quick tempered, I made allowances accordingly, thinking that he would feel ashamed of it after he got cool and was able to think about calmly. It was hard work for me to submit to such abuse, but I did and thereby avoided a quarrel which I am now very thankful for. After work, I went up to his house for some Dahlia roots. We have had news today that the rebels have evacuated Yorktown and the cannon has been fired in the street during the PM and evening. I mailed a letter to Cousin Charles Mills this evening who is in the army at Yorktown. Moses Baxter has been at work today building my woodhouse. MAY 06 – TUESDAY -Showery again today. The atmosphere s cooler after the thunder. Moses Baxter completed my woodhouse today. His bill was $2.75. I paid him $2.00. MAY 07 – WEDNESDAY –Pleasant, but quite windy, very much like March. Before and after tea, I worked around my woodhouse, finishing it off, etc. MAY 08 – THURSDAY - I stayed at home today and worked in my garden leveling off from the new stone work, picking up stones, etc. I also moved my woodhouse about a foot and a half further front. Gussie went downtown in the forenoon and bought her a new black silk dress pattern. I went to market in the evening and bought a shad and sent it up home by George for Father Griswold as a present. MAY 09 – FRIDAY – It has been warmer today. This is the anniversary of the departure for Washington of the 1st Regiment for the state for three months. We broke camp after 4 PM and marched to Long Wharf in New Haven and went on board off the steamer, “Bienville”. We waited for high water until about 10 o’clock when we sailed. I have not felt like work today. I left off early and came home with harry to graft off two little apple trees. Gussie and I went up home in the evening. I carried another hat to Father. MAY 10 – SATURDAY – Pleasant and warm, but very windy. Father finished planting his potato toes today on Father Griswold’s new plowed ground around hid house. After tea, I set out a new bed of strawberries. Gussie went into the street in the evening. MAY 11 – SUNDAY – Pleasant, but cooler. I went to church as usual in the morning. Gussie went in the PM. It was the Sacrament Service. Brother Crawford preached in the morning from Matthew 13:3-8. I went to church in the evening. Mother came down and went with me. Brother Crawford preached from Mark, 10th chapter, first clause of the 21st verse. MAY 12 – MONDAY – Father has been to work for me today making the garden. I stayed at home and helped. We have had glorious war news. Norfolk was taken by General Wood’s forces. The rebel iron-clad war steamer which has caused us so much anxiety and our navy no little trouble has been blown up by the rebels to prevent it from falling into our hands. The bells have been ruing and the cannon fired as usual on the receipt of good war news. I attended teachers Meeting in the evening. I copied the minutes before retiring. One year ago today, our regiment (the 1st Connecticut for three months) landed at the arsenal yard in the city of Washington. MAY 13 – TUESDAY – Warm, muggy and very smoky. Father has worked for me again today. I went to the shop, but there being a great deal of waiting for work, I came home again and worked in my garden. We went up to John Cosier’s in the evening. Gussie brought home some house plants and I a jug of cider. One year ago today, our regiment marched from the arsenal yard in Washington up through the city to our first camp since we left Connecticut. We named it Camp Buckingham in honor of our Governor. MAY 14 – WEDNESDAY – We were stinted at the shop today on 2 dozen 6/ hats. I came home early and planted potatoes, corn and peas in my garden. Father has worked for me again today spading my garden. Burr Bradley came home with me to get some lettuce to set out. I started pretty late for class. As I was going in the church door, the class members were going out. They said that there was no class because there was no one there to lead it, not a male member being present. MAY 15 – THURSDAY – Father finished spading my garden this noon. On account of being limited on work at the shop, I came home early. I was very much satisfied, since my head ached so much that I was willing to quit. It has been very warm. I planted some more seeds in my garden just before dark. While doing it, Mr. Filly from Ridgefield called with Isaac Smith to see Father Griswold’s folks. Gussie is severely afflicted with a swelling under her arm and besides, she has had a sick headache today. She was not able to get tea, so we took tea upstairs with Mother Griswold. MAY 16 – FRIDAY – We were stinted again in the shop today thought it took me until dark to get it up. I received a letter from Cousin David Mills from the Connecticut 5th Regiment, General Banks’ division, near Harrisburg, Virginia. Old Father Wildman, as we call him, brought me 30 beanpoles which I had previously engaged. MAY 18 – SATURDAY – I have worked as usual in the shop I received 30 No. 2 catechisms from New York through Starr & Smith for the Sunday School. The bill was36 cents. I called and paid it in the evening. I bought a shad from Raymond’s in the evening weighing 4 lbs., 6 ounces and got trusted for it until Monday. After tea, I set may beanpoles but did not plant the beans. MAY 18 – SUNDAY – I went to church as usual in the morning. Brother Crawford gave us a good sermon from the last clause of the 4st verse of the 3rd chapter of Ezra. He particularly exhorted us to the faithful discharge of every duty each day as these duties presented themselves and not to defer them until these duties stand up before us a great mountain of Christian duties neglected. It was applicable to all and I am sure it cannot fail to accomplish some good. I came home after Sunday School and Gussie attended in the PM. At 4 ½ o’clock, I met with the Sunday School at the church and at 5 o’clock, we assembled with the 1st and 2nd Congregational and the Baptist schools at the 1st Congregational church where we had an interesting time. Singing by the children and speeches by the several pastors and superintendents. I stayed at home in the evening and Gussie went to church. MAY 19 – MONDAY – I planted my lima beans and set out my dahlias this morning and I was consequently late in getting to the shop. It rained a little before noon, but the ground being very dry, there was not enough of it to do much good. We are still limited in our work in the shop. After work, I went up to Mr. Witherspoon’s to get some early York cabbage plants and came home and transplanted them. His boy came home with me to get some lettuce plants. I set out some more myself, sowed some more radishes and some red Dutch cabbage seed and some broad leaf cress or some pepper grass. I paid Charles Bell for the hoe I bought of him last week this morning on my way to the shop. I went into the street in the evening and paid Avery Raymond also for a shad which I bought of him last Saturday – 35 cents. I received a letter from Cousin Charles Mills in the army under McClellan pressing on and near to the rebel capital of Richmond, Virginia. Father Griswold came home in the evening. MAY 20 – TUESDAY – I had work to the amount of $2.50 today. On my way home, I stopped at Charles Hull’s and had a piece of glass cut to put over Charles and David Mills’ picture in a frame. I went over to Mrs. McDonald’s and paid my milk bill - $1.40. I answered Cousin Charles Mills’ letter in the evening. Gussie went into the street in the evening and by Mother’s request ordered a bag of flour ($1.08) on my account to be sent up home and to be taken out of what I owe Father for gardening. MAY 21 – WEDNESDAY – Cloudy and just at night misty with a little rain. George Fenner came up with me when I came home from work. We walked around my premises and Father Griswold’s and went up into the cupola of his new house. I wrote a letter to Cousin David mills of the 5th Connecticut Regiment, General Banks’ division near Harrisburg, Virginia and went down in the evening to mail it with one to Charles which I wrote last night and a Danbury Times to each of them. I then went to market after which it was too late to go to class meeting and I came home. Father came down this morning before I went to work and I settled with him for the gardening, etc. MAY 22 – THURSDAY – A thunder shower last night. Cloudy in the morning, but it soon came off pleasant and warm. Gussie went to the store in the evening and I stayed with Eddie and wrote to the Book Room ordering 47 copies of the Teachers’ Journal and enclosing $7.00 to pay for them for one year. MAY 23 – FRIDAY – Pleasant. I have worked in the shop as usual. I hoed out my strawberries after tea. In the evening, I went downtown and mailed the letter which I wrote last night to the Book Room ordering 47 copies of the Teachers’ Journal for the Sunday School and enclosed $7.00 to pay for the subscriptions for one year. MAY 24 SATURDAY – Cool but pleasant. I took off some old boards on the backside of my wood house and nailed some new ones in place of them. Theodore put me on Black work today. I went to market in the evening. I brought home two glass cones for my lamp and some porgies for breakfast. MAY 25 – SUNDAY – Pleasant but cool. Warmer just at night. Frost this morning. I attended church this morning. Brother Crawford preached from 1st Timothy 2:1-2. After Sunday School, I came home and Gussie went in the PM. Bell came down after tea and she and Louisa took care of Eddie while Gussie took a walk up to the cemetery with Cousin Mary Purdy. I did some writing in the Sunday School’s Secretary & Treasurer’s Book as usual and walked around the premises. Thomas Barnum called and we went around Father Griswold’s new house and then I walked up to his house with him. Previous to this, Phineas Lounsbury, while walking out from his house in their back lot next to Father Griswold’s premises came over in my yard where I was and we went into the new house after which he went to the 5 ½ o’clock prayer meeting. I went to prayer meeting in the evening. Mother came in from meeting to my house for Bell who stayed with Gussie in the evening. MAY 26 – MONDAY – Cool but pleasant. The country is pretty well aroused over the retreat of General Banks for Harrisburg, Virginia back to Maryland crossing the Potomac at Williamsport. The rebel Thomas Jackson who pursues him has been strongly reinforced. On my way home from the shop, I went to Robinson’s and brought home my clock which he has been cleaning. When putting on the pendulum when I got home, I broke the pendulum wire and in the evening, I took it back again. MAY 27 – TUESDAY – Stormy. I set out some tomato plants this morning. I worked in the shop all day. I came home by way of Robinson’s Jewelry Store and brought home my clock which he had been cleaning. MAY 28 – WEDNESDAY- I stayed at home in the forenoon and cut through the wall and floor to lay a foundation for a new chimney in our sink room. It has been cloudy with drizzling rain in the forenoon. Brother Crawford made us a pastoral call in the AM. Pleasant in the PM. I went to the shop. I went to class in the evening. Brother John Cosier led it. MAY 29 – THURSDAY – Pretty cold last night. A heavy frost in some places this morning, although my garden escaped injury. Gussie went up home in the PM and I went up to tea. Mother gave us a nice pail of milk to take home with us. After we got home, I went downtown to get something for breakfast. Eddie is nine months old today. MAY 30 – FRIDAY – I have worked all day in the shop. We have had a new block come today, called the “Bomb Shell Block”. Daniel Manly gave me a new and very early variety of potatoes. I brought them home and planted them to get the seed. I made 13 hills of them. I went into the street with Gussie in the evening. We called to see Mr. John Rowan who has been blind for years and has been to New York to have his eyes operated on. His sight is greatly improved. He is going again. We have news today of the evacuation of Corinth by the rebels under Beauregard. MAY 31 – SATURDAY – I have worked in the shop as usual. On my way home, I bought a sheet iron thimble for the sink room chimney which I am to have built. I brought home a bottle of ale from Randell’s to try before purchasing a dozen bottles which I am thinking of doing. It is a benefit to me to drink a little each day if I can get that which is good. This has been highly recommended to me. I have bought a blank book in which to keep an account of all the money I expend. I shall commence tomorrow






Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal, May 1862 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.

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