The Diaries of Fanny Hume

The diaries, from which brief excerpts will be presented here, were written by Miss Fanny Hume. She was a well educated young lady living in Orange, caught in the midst of the Civil War.  Not only will readers learn about the day-to-day events in her life and community but will hear the news of the war as she read and heard it.  Not only did Miss Hume hear of events far off, she experienced them first hand as the war came to her front door. At various points troops from both armies are camped in her yard, and the nearby Village of Orange Courthouse experiences a cavalry skirmish right on Main Street.  

Both of the1861 and the 1862 diaries are available for purchase  from the Society. The 1862 Diary was edited by J. Randolph Grymes, Jr. and is well documented with over 300 footnotes explaining the people and events noted, as well as providing background information on her family and community.

July 1862

Tuesday 1st

Frank got home this morning, slightly wounded just above the left hip - it has been reported since Sunday night that he was certainly killed, but they kindly kept it from me. Annie Bull & Nannie Patton walked down and told me he had come. Nell y & I went up in the buggy at once, found him sitting up & as bright as a dollar. He was wounded Friday morning by a grape shop; an Indian rubber blanket folded across his body probably saved his life, it was much torn. Frank fought long after he was wounded, then helped a wounded comrade from the field - assisted the wounded till next morning, then marched across the country 50 miles to Hanover Junction,1took the train & came home; he brought off several trophies, among them part of a "breastplate." The fighting, he said, was terrific; 13th Regt. took in 250 men & brought out 70. Tom Slaughter was killed - the only one of the Co. we knew - but several of the Pemunky2 men were killed & many wounded - 3 Newmans3 among the number. Frank walked down after dinner - he gives an interesting account of the fight - said the Yankees fought well under the influence of liquor - all the prisoners taken were drunk. We have been victorious each day, but the loss was fearful. Mr. & Mrs. Robinson, Sally Williamson, John & Charlie Williams here this evening.

Thursday 3rd

Had a dreadful headache yesterday, though altered light calico dress before lying down & yielding to it - it poured in torrents all day. Charlie Williams still here. Reports from Richmond still favorable to our Army. John Williams here tonight. Nannie Patton is coquetting desperately with John , Charlie & Frank ; has them completely in her power it seems. Frank has come out wonderfully. Have been sewing on Grandpa 's pants all day. Less , Mollie & I assisted Aunt Kate.

Friday 4th

"The glorious 4th!" What a change! The two sections of the Country engaged in such a deadly contest - And with this the 10th day of as furiously a fought battle as a people ever were engaged in - Oh, when will it end? Spent the day at Yatton - Mollie , Nannie, Frank , Fannie Bull, Mary Lewis & myself went over - had a charming day. Nannie & Fannie remained. Bert has a sweet pretty baby, Dick Catlett - she seems sad. Nellie & Less spent day at the Village.

Saturday 5th

Wrote Aunts Sally & Hannah, at Grandpa 's request, this morning - put binding on an old skirt too - which with putting up clothes wound up day's work - backache this evening.

Sunday 6th

One of the warmest days we've had this summer. Went up to church - Mr. Earnest officiating in Mr. Davis's absence - he preached from "2nd Timothy, 6th chap. & 12th verse - Fight!" Compared the spiritual warfare of the Christian to the carnal warfare now raging - his remarks were good, but delivery unpleasant. Uncle Bill here to tea. Grandma sent for him at his request - he looks wretchedly. I offered to accompany him to the Springs,4 if he could go. Have suffered terribly with my back today.

Monday 7th

One of the hottest days I ever felt, had great difficulty in keeping the least comfortable. Mollie & Aunt Kate spent day at the Village. I succeeded in cutting out Frank 's two worsted shirts - & commenced one. Hattie is making the other. Just before tea Sally and Roberta Williamson, Mary & Emma came in, & remained til near bed-time - they were exceedingly pleasant & agreeable. John Williams came in to tea, & was pressed into service - he came back here. Nothing definite from Richmond. McClellan is said to be entrenching himself under cover of his gun-boats. Beauregard's mind is said to be much affected - Bragg5 has command of his troops - his brain has been overtaxed!


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This Page was last updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2002