Horace Purdy Journal March 1865 Entry

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03/01 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant and warm. Very appropriate weather for spring. I am feeling better now. Yesterday and today I have felt as well as usual and have worked hard. On my way home from work at night, I came by the way of the Jeffersonian Office for my paper. Bought a dozen eggs of Jacob Fry at the shop today for 40 cents. He was to leave them at the house but the folks being out, he left them at the back door in a small basket. Gussie went to the Sewing Society in the evening at John (illegible). Fanny came down and got Georgie to sleep while Bell washed her dishes. I went to class and mailed a Jeffersonian to George as I went. Louise came down and stayed with Bell while we were gone. Bell went up home today. She went about 10 o'clock A.M. and stayed until 3 o'clock. The Jeffersonian today had George's letter giving an account of the capture of Captain Quien and others at 'Salina's Ball' 11 miles from St. Augustine. Also the capture of a wagon train and its guard of 35 men while out on an expedition for cotton. The Lieutenant Colonel Wilcoxsen Adjutant Chatfield, Captain French and Captain Fred Betts accompanied the expedition. The Lieutenant Colonel and Adjutant were killed; the others excepting 6 men were captured with the train. Mrs. Stone brought me a hat to finish for (illegible). When I came home from work, she was here with it. 03/02 THURSDAY - A little flutter of snow last night. Cloudy today with a little snow in the P.M. which turned mostly to rain in the evening. I finished (illegible) Stone's hat today and got it as far as the trimming room. Burr Rockwell and William Norman were shopped today at the Pahqioque. My head felt bad again today arising doubtless from a disordered state of the stomach, but it did not drive me from work I came home from work via Raymond's and bought a large flatfish for my breakfast in the morning. I found a letter in the Post Office for me from George; also one for Mother from him and another for her from 'Ansonia', who it is from I do not know. Enclosed in mine was one of mine which I wrote him returned for preservation. It was the one I wrote speaking of the Constitutional Amendment in Congress abolishing slavery. In the evening, I commenced an answer to his. He spoke of having started a box to Widow Wilcox containing Charles' effects in which was a segar box containing something for me. As I returned from the street in the evening, I called at Mrs. Wilcox to see if the box had arrived, but it had not. 03/03 FRIDAY - It rained hard this morning. Cleared off just at night. On my way to work in the morning, I mailed a letter to George. Bell went up home this P.M. and carried the two letters to Mother which I took from the office last evening. One was from George; the other was from Uncle Stephen's wife. I brought home the hat for (illegible) Stone which I finished yesterday. Mrs. Stone came in while we were at tea. She paid me $1.00 for finishing and trimming and took it home with her. I learned that Mr. Valentine has sold his place joining me to Mr. Pond the middle district school teacher. Gussie opened some oysters which lay down cellar and we had stewed oysters for supper. I made some egg cider in the evening, the first I have made this season. Mrs. Wilcox received the box containing Charlie's effects today which George packed and sent to her. In it was a segar box containing some things for me or for me to preserve for him. It was 3 sea beans, a piece of Fort Marion, a piece of the old Spanish Treasury Chest left by them in the fort, a piece of the old Plaza Flag, a piece of lightning rod from the M.E. Church in St. Augustine, marble from Rebel mansion found on John's Island, South Carolina, some other relics with a book called 'The Letter Writer' and some old letters sent home for preservation. 03/04 SATURDAY - The inauguration of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson for President and Vice-president of the United States. It rained hard last night and this morning. It was understood last night that we should work until noon today and then spend the rest of the day in celebration of our late victories and the Presidential Inauguration. The bells were all rung at sunrise and again at noon with the firing of a national salute. It being stormy, I worked until nearly night in the shop. It was designed to have a procession and an illumination in the evening but the storm induced the committee of arrangements to postpone the affair. But when evening came, the people assembled and would have a time anyhow. So the Concert hall was opened and the people rushed in and filled the house. We had the Drum Corp. there and speaking by Jackson, Smith, Barnum, Lieutenant Governor Averill, D. P. Nichols, Shepard and Peter Holmes. We had singing also under the direction of George Stephens, Jackson and Barnum. We had a real jollification and broke up by singing 'Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow'. It cleared off colder and windy just at night. Bell stayed with Georgie and Gussie attended the jollification with me. 03/05 SUNDAY - Pleasant and spring-like. I heard bluebirds for the first time this morning. Brother Hill being sick, there was no preaching this morning, but a prayer meeting instead. Feeling hungry and tired, I came home after Sunday School. James Parmalee, my assistant librarian being absent, I got Edward Barnum to take his place. Sherman Disbrow last night or this morning, took laudanum and through the day, they have little hope of his life. He has the migraine very badly which are growing upon him very fast and he doubtless took it to commit suicide and thereby end his misery I mailed a Harper's weekly to George as I went to evening meeting. Chaplain Ambler preached for us in the P.M. Gussie was there but I was not. Gussie stayed home in the evening and wrote to George in my stead. After evening meeting, Harry Barry told me that Mr. Disbrow was better and the doctor thought he would recover. 03/06 MONDAY - It froze quite hard last night. Pleasant today. On my way to the shop this morning, I mailed a letter to George written by Gussie. I am now on drab work at the shop for the first time in a long while. I had the first dozen on Saturday. The papers today give an account of the inauguration at Washington last Saturday. It states that the new Vice-President Andrew Johnson was badly intoxicated and disgraced himself and the nation by attempting to make a speech. If it is true, it is most certainly a national disgrace. The papers also state that the rebel General Early and his command have been captured by General Sheridan. I went into the street in the evening and mailed a letter for Father Griswold. Bought 1 lb. milk crackers for Mother G., bought a pocket comb for myself and some pickled tripe for our breakfast, the first I ever bought. Before retiring, I made some egg cider. I engaged - bbl. Of Crofut's Best wheat Flour while downtown. 03/07 TUESDAY - It froze quite hard again last night, but the day has been pleasant and has thawed considerably. I worked hard as usual all day in the shop. Gussie went up to my mother's this P.M. While we were at tea, Theodore Brothwell called to inquire about the place on the corner which Father Griswold used to own to see if it could be rented. I think he wants it for his Father who I understand is to move from Mill Plain into town this spring. After tea, I went to market for sugar, eggs, beef steak and to pay Crofut for bring me # barrel of flour- $7.50 I had black hats weighed out again today. 03/08 WEDNESDAY - It did not freeze a particle last night; there is but little snow left. Cloudy in the morning with the appearance of rain but it finally came off pleasant. On my way home from work at night, I got a letter from Cousin Eliza in California. It was in reply to one I wrote on the occasion of the birth of Georgie. Gussie went up home to her Mother's this P.M. and drew Georgie down in his carriage, the first time he ever rode in it. I went to market in the evening and to class but did not get there until after the meeting was over. It was then raining and John Cosier and I sat a while in the classroom until the mail was opened and then came home. Mrs. O.H. Smith was suddenly taken sick this P.M. For a while it was thought she would die. The trouble was a miscarriage. The last of our winter's course of lectures was delivered this evening by G. W. Curtis - subject 'Political Infidelity'. Gussie went with her father and Fanny. It commenced raining hard after the lecture commenced and before it was over, I went down with umbrellas for them and came home with Gussie after listening to the last part of the lecture. Mailed a Jeffersonian to George in the evening. 03/09 THURSDAY - Stormy last night and today. I have not felt very well today. My bowels have troubled me. I have made out to work all day however. I repaired the latch and bolt on our back door before breakfast. Mr. Samuel Hancock and Susan Watson came to Father Griswold's this P.M. on the freight train. Father Griswold married them at 8 o'clock in the evening. Gussie and I were there, having left the baby with Bell. We came home about 10 o'clock after Gussie and the others had seen Susan in bed. Mr. Hancock went to his room as we came home. 03/10 FRIDAY - Stormy last night and today. It cleared off in the P.M. On my way to work this morning, I bought a piece of beef for Father Griswold's folks and sent it up. 6 lbs. and 6 ounces at 22 cents - $1.40. I commenced on drab work again today. I worked rather late at the shop. When I came home, Gussie and Bell were drinking their tea. Bell went to the Sunday School Singing School at the Baptist Church in the evening. The singing is under the leadership of Nathaniel Barnum. I, having a severe headache did not go out in the evening. Mother Griswold, Harriet and Mr. and Mrs. Hancock came down and spent the evening. I made some egg cider. Fanny who went to the Sewing Society at Mrs. John Rowan's called when she returned. 03/11 SATURDAY - It froze last night quite hard. Sick headache, not able to go to work. Mended Gussie's work box and Eddie's picture frame. The bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hancock left for Brooklyn this afternoon. Gussie and Fanny went to the depot with them. Gussie did the marketing and got my two Harper's Weeklies while she was down. I soaked my feet and shampooed my head in the P.M. I ate nothing at noon; after tea, I felt better. Bell went up home after tea and from there went to the Post Office and returned about nine o'clock. Before retiring, I was entirely free from headache. 03/12 SUNDAY - Pleasant but very blustering in the A.M., a little more quiet in the afternoon. I attended church all day. Brother Hill is not yet able to preach, so Brother Crawford preached in the morning and administered the Sacrament in the P.M. It was so cold in church this morning that I left the preaching and went downstairs and sat by the fire. I have felt chilly all day at church. Sunday School prayer meeting at noon at which a collection was taken of $3.03 with which $15.65 taken in the morning at the preaching service for the same purpose amounts to $18.72 towards paying a bill of over $30.00 for Library books. Gussie attended in the P.M. Bell did not attend at all. Before tea, Mother Griswold came down a short time, but we soon left her (Gussie and I) and took a walk up to my Father's. He is sick with a head cold. There we found Aunt Louisa and Cousin Frank. Mr. (illegible) and Jennie Tweedy and another lady were there making a call on Harriet. We walked down with Aunt Louisa and Frank. They stopped long enough to let Gussie nurse Georgie and then they all and Bell with them went to the Disciples' Church to hear a man give descriptions of the battlefields, etc. Fanny Griswold took Harper's Weekly to the Post Office for me and mailed it to George. I paid John Cosier at noon $5.00 towards my seat rent for another year. I also gave Eliza Hill $1.00 towards making up a purse for our preacher (Brother Hill). 03/13 MONDAY - Cloudy in the morning with appearance of a storm. A cold night last and this morning, but the weather moderated during the day so that this evening the thermometer stands at 50 degrees on the north side of Father Griswold's house and out of doors at that. The sun has shone pleasantly this afternoon and the moon rose in the evening looking red and warm. Mrs. Stone washed for us. Bell came down to the shop this forenoon to get my dirty overshirt to be washed. I worked hard all day in the shop. Teacher's meeting in the church in the evening, but I did not attend. I went up to Robinson's to get one hand of my watch straightened. I waited for the mail and came home. I brought home a letter for Harriet Wheeler, but it proved to be for another Harriet Wheeler and not for her. Mr. Cocking brought some things here today for Mr. Lyne's preparatory to coming back this spring. 03/14 TUESDAY - Pleasant and warm. I returned a letter to the Post Office as I went to the shop this morning which was taken out for Harriet Wheeler but belongs to another Harriet Wheeler in town. I finished a dozen hats for Lucius Wildman today. He brought them there to be finished and the foreman weighed them out to me. I was on drab hats and there not being enough faced for a full day's work was compelled to stop about 2 o'clock and wait until tomorrow morning. I came home by way of John Cosier's office and sat there awhile with him. In the meantime he showed me his patent fixtures for a bed. From there, I came home and trimmed my apple trees. In the evening, Gussie went over to Mrs. Burr Bradley's to learn how to make cone picture frames. I went to class which met with Brother Charles Stevens instead of tomorrow evening on account of a temperance lecture which is to come off. We had a good meeting. It was something of a prayer meeting with all. Every Brother there offered a prayer in the course of the meeting. From the meeting, I went over to Burr Bradley's and came home with Gussie. 03/15 WEDNESDAY - Warm and cloudy - threatening rain all day and commenced just at night. I heard a robin and saw a crow blackbird for the first time this morning. I came home before night on account of being up with the facers. Bell went up home and spent the day. She got some milk over to Ira Dibble's and carried it up to Harriet. Father is sick with a head cold and not able to work. I brought a little cut shellac from the shop to put where I trimmed my trees. I also commenced to scrape from the bodies all the moss and loose bark but did not finish. As I came home from the shop, I got our coffee pot from Charles Hull's which I left there last evening to be mended. Before retiring, I fitted glasses to picture frames for Gussie. They are plain and are to be coated with cones and shells. 03/16 THURSDAY - Georgie is four months old today. Cloudy in the forenoon # pleasant in the P.M. # warm and windy. On my way to work this morning, I mailed the Jeffersonian to George. I worked as long as I could see in the shop tonight. Gussie called to see Mrs. Swift this afternoon. I went down town in the evening and got Father's Jeffersonian for Bell to take up to him when she goes home again. He is not able to go for it himself. I also lent the #Chart of Life# to Mrs. Swift. Before retiring, I made some egg cider. Gussie called on Widow Bishop in the evening to see if she could do some sewing for her. 03/17 FRIDAY - #St. Patrick's Day in the morning.# Cloudy this morning. It soon came off pleasant but very windy. In the P.M. a new bench came for me which had been ordered for several days. I took up the old one and put it down and finished four Nutria hats on it before I quit work. Gussie went to the Sewing Society in the evening at Stephen Holmes'. I went to the market and to the Post Office where I got two letters from George written February 27th and March 12th. He gave an account of the capture of Charleston. Enclosed was a card picture of the bombardment of Charleston. I got a letter for Bell and one for Mother from him at the same time. Bell is to take Mother's to her tomorrow. Bell went up home today. Father is still poorly. While she was there, Dr. Skiff came to see him, he having been sent for. Before retiring, I answered George's letters. I enclosed $6.00 for him until he gets paid off. He is out of money and has 6 months' pay due him from the government - $96.00. 03/18 SATURDAY - Pleasant but windy again. The wind rose with the sun and went down with it again. Before breakfast, I sent Bell down to the Post Office to mail a letter to George with $6.00 enclosed. Gussie went to the Savings Bank this afternoon and had the money which was deposited for Eddie transferred to Georgie's name. She deposited $1.00 with which but added makes $5.80 now standing to George's credit. Bell went up home this morning. Dr. Skiff was there and examined Mother's chest and pronounced it a tumor on the main artery of the heart or aneurism as the difficulty is called. Gussie caught Bell in a fit of anger shaking and striking Georgie today. She was very sorry and penitent after it. She confessed her wrong and asked Gussie to forgive her. I think she has learned her lesson and will not do it again. I went to market in the evening and borrowed some stain for the edges of the picture frames which Gussie is going to cover with cones and shells. I received the Jeffersonian from George today which I sent him some time ago to refer to for some purpose. I paid Dr. Brown 6 cents last night due on a letter from George. Before retiring, I stained the edges of the picture frames for Gussie. 03/19 SUNDAY - Pleasant. Not so windy as yesterday. Georgie cried a great deal last night and kept us awake. We rose late on that account. I did not go to church in the morning, but went down in time for Sunday School. Mr. and Mrs. Cocking and Mrs. Courtney called to see Gussie at noon while I was at Sunday School. I met them coming as I went away to church. I was so busy at the Library that I could not get upstairs to the preaching until after 2 o'clock. After tea, I took a nap in the rocking chair. As I went to evening meeting, I mailed a Harper's Weekly to George. It was a union meeting of all denominations except Catholic at our church to take measures to assist the freedmen of the South, sending aid in the shape of clothing, cooking and farming utensils, etc. A Mr. Guilder from New Canaan preached for us today and opened the meeting in the evening. After the opening exercises, David P. Nichols was appointed to preside over the meeting. Dr. Hawley was there and made the first speech after Mr. Guilder. 03/20 MONDAY - It sprinkled a little this morning and there was some prospect of rain, but it came off pleasant and warm. Mrs. McNeil came to do some dressmaking for Gussie and stayed to tea. Mr. McNeil (who is painting for Father Griswold) stayed to tea also. Gussie, Bell and Louise went up on Deer Hill to Fathers in the evening to carry a Spanish Rooster which Mother Griswold gave them to put with their hens. From there they went to the Post Office and home. While they were gone, I commenced a letter to George, informing him of what I have further found out about Edith's getting married. Horace Crofut's wife called this P.M. to bid goodbye to Father Griswold's folks who she heard were going to move away, that they had sold their place, etc. It is all false. She took it from the false publication in the Danbury Times that he had sold for $5,000 to Mr. Pond, when it was the place that he had formerly owned that was sold by Mr. Valentine to Mr. Pond for $2,500. 03/21 TUESDAY - Pleasant and warm as June. I got tired out about 2 o'clock and left the shop. I worked around the yard a little, scraping apple tree bodies, etc. I got something from a dwarf pear tree in my eye, which caused severe pain until evening. Gussie and Bell went up home and drew Georgie in his carriage. They stayed to tea and I waited until after lamplight for my supper. I went to market in the evening and mailed a letter and a mortgage deed to Edwin for Father Griswold. William Bennett came home from the army today. He brought his horse with him. I brought a quart of bourbon whiskey in the evening of Parmalee & Bradley for $1.60. A telegraphic dispatch this P.M. from New York that gold was at 134; the evening papers put it at 133. Father came down to see us today. He was tired out when he got here. He is not yet very strong. 03/22 WEDNESDAY - A thunder shower about 7 o'clock this morning, though there was but a sprinkling of rain. The thunder was quite heavy. I have commenced taking a little bourbon whiskey each day. I took a little with me to the shop and found it a decided benefit. I was able to work all day, whereas yesterday I had to stop after dinner. David Mills came up to make us a call today; he came on the morning train. He took dinner up to Father's and spent the afternoon with Gussie. He came from the depot and called me at the shop before going up home. In the evening, I finished my letter to George, giving him what information I could about Lieutenant Colonel Goodyear of the 10th C.V. What I learned about him, I got from the Connecticut War Record of March. I also mailed to him the Jeffersonian. Blustering and cooler in the P.M. and evening. 03/23 THURSDAY - Snow squall this morning and some rain. The remainder of the day was clear, but the wind blew hard. I took a physic last night (Fig Paste) the effect of which I feel today. Fred Lockwood died this morning about 2 o'clock. I worked late though I did but little and was very tired when I came home. After tea, I took a nap on the lounge. Paid Bell $1.00 for 2 weeks wages at the tea table. It was due yesterday. (Gap in the diary Pgs. 208-209 missing). Continuation of 03/26 SUNDAY - a while and then I went up home to see Mother who for two or three days past has been worse. I returned home in time for meeting and found Mrs. Stone (who works for us) there with her little girl making a call. Gussie not wanting to go to prayer meeting, I went myself and mailed as I went a Harper's weekly to George. 03/27 MONDAY - Pleasant. On my way to the shop, I went with Gussie to Dr. St. John's to get a tooth extracted which has kept her awake nights for some time. Mrs. Stone washed for us today. Bell came down to take care of the baby that Gussie might go to Mary Olmstead's funeral in the P.M. George Blissard's child was buried today also. I worked so late in the shop that I got locked in. I unbolted the side door and went out. Fred(erick) Douglass, the colored speaker lectured here this evening. (Subject 'Equality Before The Law'). I thought of going to hear him but did not. Just previous to the lecture, Abram Blissard came along by Benedict & Nichol's store and insulted Mr. Shepard, the Universalist preacher, possibly on account of his Union sentiments. Blissard is one of the meanest of the mean Copperheads. Levi W. Bartram standing by, took Mr. Shepard's part and gave Blissard a push which sent him nearly off the walk, at the same time giving him to understand that he must mind his own business and not insult peaceable citizens. I went to Dr. Buckley's office in the evening to consult about the baby, a difficulty of the bowels. No evening papers. Mrs. Todd died this morning instead of yesterday. 03/28 TUESDAY - Pleasant and warm. While scraping moss from my fruit tree before breakfast, the old chair on which I was standing broke and let me down. I carried a piece of fig paste to Daniel Manly this morning to let him try it in place of other physic which he has been in the habit of taking. I also gave him the recipe to make it. D.L Chichester called the shop on Theodore Lyon today for running (?) him out of a heater as he claimed. I worked in the shop as late as I could see. When I came home, I found Miss English at our house waiting for Curtis Bennett to come for her to take her home with him to do some sewing for his family. She stayed to tea. Georgie has a cold and some cough. I called at Dr. Buckley's in the evening to consult about it. I bought some smelt for breakfast and walked up West Street on my way home with Mr. Shepard, the Universalist preacher. 03/29 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant. We had smelt for breakfast. Mrs. Todd was buried this P.M. Dr. Buckley's wife and Mrs. Daniel Starr called to see Gussie this P.M. Mrs. Starr stayed to tea. On my way home from work, I came home by way of the Jeffersonian Office and got the papers for fathers Griswold and Purdy and my own. I brought home a good quality of brown sugar # 5 lbs. for $1.00. I mailed the Jeffersonian to George in the evening. I went to market and the Post Office; was too late for class and came home. The evening Post quotes gold at 152. 03/30 THURSDAY - Stormy. Before breakfast, I picked up and carried off from my yard the trimmings from my apple trees. The uppers to my old boot bottoms which I wear in the shop gave out today and I brought them home and got Mr. Richards to mend them in the evening. I went to the Post Office in the evening. The evening Post quotes gold at 150 1/4. Henry Burroughs came home on the evening train. He was a member of the 15th regiment, Connecticut Volunteers and was taken prisoner in North Carolina short time since. He was for 4 days a prisoner in Richmond at Libby Prison. 03/31 FRIDAY - Stormy all day. Rain and snow together in the evening. After tea, I went to market and to the Post Office. Gold by the evening paper was quoted 151. Perrin speaks for the democracy at Concert Hall this evening. It cleared off between 9 and 10 o'clock in the evening. When we retired the moon and stars shone splendidly.




Western Connecticut State University




Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal March 1865 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.

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