2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
The past few years have been filled with upheaval, destruction, fear, and deceit. We have witnessed burning, looting, and rioting, which has often not ended in the perpetrators being brought to justice. So many people have expressed their feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and frustration. Yet, none of this is new. Our ancestors endured horrors during certain periods of time in this nation. For instance, during the Revolutionary War, burning and pillaging of property was common, as was violent attacks upon women. Robert Lawrence, a lawyer, and Rev. Alexander McWhorter, both of New Jersey, spoke of the use of rape as a weapon by the British Army.
The Reverend wrote, “Three women were most horridly ravished by them, one of them an old woman near seventy years of age, whom they abused in a manner beyond description, another of them was a woman considerably advanced in her pregnancy, and the third was a young girl…Yea, not only common soldiers, but officers, even British officers, four or five, sometimes more sometimes less in a gang, went about the town by night, entering into houses and openly inquiring for women.”
For those of us in the South, these atrocities began again after the invasion of our homeland by the Federal Army. Many letters, diaries, military records, and memoirs have outlined the things that occurred. Homes were vandalized and robbed of food, Yankees destroyed crops, livestock was slaughtered or stolen, furniture was splintered, personal items were ransacked, and buildings burned.
Kate Cumming, a nurse in Mississippi and Georgia, wrote on July 17, 1863: “The enemy have a particular liking for ladies’ wardrobes. I presume they send them to their lady-loves in the North. I wonder how they feel in their stolen finery! I do not suppose that the men would rob us as they do if they were not incited by the importunties of their women. Many letters, taken from dead Federals on the battlefields, contain petitions from the women to send them valuables from the South. One says she wants a silk dress; another a watch; and one writer told her husband that now was the time to get a piano, as they could not afford to buy one. “Oh shame, where is thy blush!” What a commentary on the society of ‘the best government the world ever saw!’ Would we had the pen of a Thackeray to delineate the angelic and super eminent virtues of this ‘great’ people!”
Mary Mallard of Georgia wrote on Dec 20, 1864: “A squad of Yankees came soon after breakfast. Hearing there was one yoke of oxen left, they rode into the pasture and drove them up, and went into the woods and brought out the horse-wagon, to which they attached the oxen. Needing a chain for the purpose, they went to the well and took it from the well bucket. Mother went out and entreated them not to take it from the well, as it was our means of getting water. They replied: “You have no right to have even wood or water,” and immediately took it away.”
Other women, such as Céline Frémaux of Louisiana, Mary Ann Harris Gay, and Dolly Lunt Burge, both of Georgia, speak of the aforementioned wrongs being wrought upon them by the Federals in their memoirs. Much mention is also made of physical brutality, mental abuse, and the forcing of young black boys to go with the soldiers, leaving behind grieving, distraught mothers.
Not only did the women of the South have to grieve for the sons they sent into battle, but many had to agonize over the cruel separation forced upon them by the Yankee officials.
Lucy Nickolson Lindsay, of Missouri, tells us of the plight of the imprisoned women during the winter of 1861-1862: “Colonel Dicks then said all the women who had been in prison for disloyalty must be banished. [Here she names the women] They all had children and were obliged to leave them behind. That was the worst part of it. When we were ready to start south the children were all brought to say goodbye. You never heard such screaming- two of the ladies fainted. O, it was dreadful, one of the worst scenes I have ever seen.”
Knowing all our ancestors endured, giving in and giving up mustn’t be an option for us. We must continue to build up while others tear down. The NC SCV Memorials Fund has been able to help preserve our history and heritage because of the kind and generous help from those SCV camps and individual patrons who value freedom and truth.
Mr. Matthew McGuigan, on behalf of the NC SCV Memorials Team, presented a check for $2500 to Mr. Craig Bone of the Robert Henry Ricks Camp #75 of Rocky Mount. The donation assisted in restoring and preserving the Robert Henry Ricks memorial on private property.
Also, with the help of several NC SCV camps and the NC SCV Memorials Fund, the NC SCV was able to save the following historical markers:
- Franklin Co. Sherman’s Camp. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=77880
- Edgecombe Co. Princeville. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=74138
- Duplin Co. Kenansville. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=77287
- Davidson Co. Davis’s Camp. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=77700
During this time that Christians celebrate the hope God brought into our world at the birth of Christ and Jews remember the miracle of Chanukah, we should renew our faith and strength in order to stand against tyranny and hatred. Let us move forward into the new year, determined to make a positive difference.
If you know of a project or need in your North Carolina community that the NC SCV Memorials Fund might be able to assist in, please get in touch with us. We are committed to restoring and preserving our Confederate memorials and history. Please consider a donation to help us accomplish even more!
If you wish to support our mission please consider a monetary donation to the N.C. SCV Memorials fund.
Donations to the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans are fully tax deductible.