Journal of John B. Patrick, September 28, 1862-December 31, 1862


Journal of John B. Patrick, September 28, 1862-December 31, 1862


John B. Patrick was a member of The Citadel's Class of 1855. He served as a professor of mathematics at the Arsenal Academy in Columbia from 1859-1865 and as secretary for the Board of Visitors from 1862-1865. During the Civil War, he was lieutenant in charge of the Battalion of State Cadets. His journals span from 1861-1865 and detail his personal life and health, religion, his work at the Arsenal Academy, cadet discipline, and Civil War activities.




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John B. Patrick Civil War Journals








Date Valid


[Page 1]
Sunday, Sept. 28. 1862.

My regular Sunday-School duties were attended to, after which I went to church. I cannot say, however, that I enjoyed the sermon as much as usual. I felt drowsy, owing, I suppose to the fact that I have been losing sleep of late. Had Rev. Bro. P. to dine with me – found his company, as usual, very agreeable. Went to church again this evening.

Monday, Sept. 29.

Performed my usual routine of Academic duties. – A letter from home says that Mother is very little if any better, which makes me feel sad. Still I have a hope that she will soon be able to get about again – otherwise I should feel it my duty to suspend my engagements here and go to see her.

Tuesday. Sept. 30.

As usual, I am tired this evening.

[Page 2]
Wednesday, Oct. 1.

I enjoyed the prayer meeting this evening, though I am not satisfied as to the fitness of one of the persons who came forward to unite with the church, and must make some inquiries concerning said individual’s character. Two joined.

Thursday, Oct. 2.

The days duties are done, and I retire satisfied with what I have done. I can not, however, say that I am pleased with all I have seen, for I have just seen a living, walking evidence of human depravity, such as disgusts the all good men.

Friday, Oct. 3.

In addition to the gratification I feel at the prospect of a day’s rest from my arduous duties, I have been made happy this evening by the visits of my

[Page 3]
friends. Our pastor and some others took tea with us and the evening passed away pleasantly.

Oct. 4. Saturday

Walked about a good deal to-day endeavoring to collect pew rents. – Met with tolerably good success. This evening attended church conference – the meeting was a pleasant one.

Sunday, Oct. 5.

I am weary this evening. After S. school I went to church as usual: -- attended communion services this afternoon and preaching again to-night. It has been to me a pleasant day, and I now retire with a quiet conscience.

Monday, Oct. 6.

On yesterday I received a letter from Bro-in-law R. He has been in one battle, that of Sharpsburg, and it is thankful that he

[Page 4]
escaped unhurt. He says but little about the battle. Doubtless it is not pleasant to recall the scenes of death and suffering he witnessed there. – As I went round this evening inspecting quarters, a cadet handed me two dollars and asked me to have his name registered as a subscriber for the Confederate Baptist. I hope his motives are good, and yet from a little circumstance connected with his history, I can but fear his motives are of a selfish nature. But I do not wish to be uncharitable. and will therefore hope that I am

Tuesday, Oct. 7.

Very much fatigued this evening.

Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Attended a meeting of the citizens of Columbia this evening, called for the purpose of devising measures

[Page 5]
to supply the destitution of our army in clothing. From the accounts that have reached us, our army is, indeed, in a deplorable state of destitution. After some discussion, a committee of thirteen was appointed to devise a plan by which the evil may be remedied and report at a called meeting. In the course of some remarks made by Dr. J. L. Renolds, he said that if the necessity should arise, “he would consider it a greater honor to walk the streets of Columbia bare-footed, than had he ever been conferred upon him if, by so doing, he could aid the soldiers.” Dr. William Reynolds alluded to the speculators, and said “he believed they were damned of God and man,” – a strong expression – not designed to be construed strictly, perhaps, but still

[Page 6]
designed to convey an idea of detestation which no other expression would. He is not alone in regarding the speculators with an unfriendly eye. All good men detest their conduct.

Thursday, Oct. 9.

A letter from home tells me of the death, by disease, of several of my friends in that section of the country. Thus we pass away, and soon “the place that now knows us will know us no more.” Mother, I am pleased to learn, is better than when we last heard from home.

Friday, Oct. 10.

Visited Maj. W this evening. It is the first evening that I have been unengaged, for a considerable time. And even this has been partly spent in the performance of duty. The more I have to do, the more rapidly time passes.

[Page 7]
Saturday, Oct. 11.

To-day I called for the fourth or fifth time, to collect some pew rent that has been due from one member of the congregation for more than one year. Nor was I successful this time. He pulled out a large bill and as I could not charge it he asked me to call again. As it is for the church I must go again, but at the same time I have to confess that my patience is becoming exhausted. If he had no smaller money on hand, he was, of course, excusable in pulling out his large bill, but my impression is that he had plenty of bills that were smaller.

Sunday, Oct. 12.

It has rained a great deal this to-day. This morning, until near twelve o’clock, it rained almost incessantly. I did not, therefore, go to S. school or church to-day,

[Page 8]
and I feel safe in saying that the church was not opened. I have endeavored to spend the day profitably, by reading that which is suited to the Sabbath.

Monday, Oct. 13.

I am feeling like rest would do me good this evening.

Tuesday, Oct. 14.

My engagements now leave me little or no time, for social intercourse, yet it sometimes happens that I have to take time to entertain a friend. Such was the case this evening. A friend came in, took tea – and sat a while. This has caused me to be up later this evening than is proper for my health.

Wednesday, Oct. 15.

I have performed the duties of another day, and now at its close, I desire

[Page 9]
to seek that rest which is always proper after toil. Before retiring however, I cannot forbear to remark that vanity does not confine itself to any class of men. Of this fact I have but recently been reminded. One who ought to be free from it, is, unfortunately, very much given to exhibiting it on every occasion that permits a reference to self. Another thing that I have seen, unpleasant to contemplate, is a human being reeling and staggering along the street, from the influence of liquor. The candidates, recently elected to the legislature, or some of them at least, gave a supper to all who chose to attend, and it was at this I understand that this poor mortal became intoxicated.

[Page 10]
Would that we could have legislators who would not condescend to “treating” the rabble for their votes!

Thursday, Oct. 16

How I should enjoy this pleasant weather, if all was peace and quiet in the country!

Friday, Oct. 17.

I am informed that salt is selling at one hundred dollars per sack! Two years ago, no one would ever have believed that such a scarcity of the article would ever exist. Indeed it is not so much the lack of supply now that makes it so dear. Speculators, have no little to do with raising the price to what it now is. Heartless men! Instead of endeavoring to alleviate suffering they increase it by this morbid thirst for wealth.

[Page 11]
Saturday Oct. 18.

To-day I called for the sixth time on a man for his pew rent, and found him, as he said without any money. I am afraid that he knows or cares but little about benevolence. One thing he knows, and that is how to make promises and not fulfill them.

This afternoon, I got up an epitaph for my little nephew, who died about two months since. Hope to spend a pleasant Sabbath.

Sunday, Oct. 19.

At Sunday School this morning, I was pleased to see the interest manifested in a copy of a new paper, the “Child’s Index,” which I took to school. At my suggestion, it was determined to take thirty copies for the school. Besides these, some subscribed for it

[Page 12]
as individuals. Such papers will do good. Money expended for this cannot fail to bring a large profit.

Bro. P. preached for us this morning from Job 7th ch., 17th & 18th verses or rather a part of them. His object was to show that we are here on trial, and as usual he treated his subject well. Bro. B. preached this evening. The day has been a pleasant one.

Monday, Oct. 20.

Bro. P. & Bro. C. – came in unexpectedly to tea this evening, and I pass the time agreeably. But after they leave I have to sit up for some time to do some studying which it is necessary to do before the morrow.

Tuesday, Oct. 21

This day has, like all my days, been

[Page 13]
closely employed, and now though late at night I am up, having just finished what was on hand in the way of study. This reminds me of days when I was a student.

Wednesday Oct. 22

I have been closely confined all day, and now, having just come from prayer meeting, I seek repose. I must, however, add that I am pleased by a letter from home which tells me that Mother is still improving. Hope a merciful God will restore her to perfect health again.

Thursday, Oct. 23.

I am feeling depressed this evening. Sometimes, despite my efforts to take sanguine views of life, I cannot but feel melancholy. But after all I believe it is well to be sad sometimes.

[Page 14]

[Page 15]

[Page 16]
Friday Oct. 24.

I have been closely engaged all the week, and am glad it is about closing, as it will give me a day of rest.

Saturday, Oct. 25.

I had hoped to be benefitted by to-day’s relaxation from duty, but my engagements have been such that, I am now feeling more wearied than I was last night. I have been looking for some shoes for the negroes, and for cloth to make myself a coat and pantaloons. I find everything in that line at selling at three or four prices – the inevitable result, when the demand is great and the supply small. It is probable, however, that heartless speculators have had a great deal to do in creating these

[Page 17]
fabulous prices, for such they are.

Sunday, Oct. 26.

A very inclement day it has been. I went out to S. School, and remained till after church, and I fear that as a consequence of it, I shall have a severe cold. I was feeling some symptoms of cold last night, but not so much as I am now. I shall take my usual remedy on retiring, a [Dever’s} powder, and hope to be better in the morning.

Monday, Oct. 27.

The weather is still cold. I am feeling better this evening.

Tuesday Oct. 28.

I have nothing to write unless I say what I have so often said, that I have been very busy during the day.

[Page 18]
Wednesday, Oct. 29.

I remained at home this evening – did not go to prayer meeting because a friend wrote me that he was going to call at my house this evening. He has not come, but I have not on that account idled away the time. On the contrary, I have been busily and usefully engaged.

Thursday, Oct. 30.

Met two soldiers, acquaintances of mine, on the street this evening, and had them to come home with me. They will thus save hotel fare, and I will have the consciousness of having done that much for the soldiers.

Friday, Oct. 31.

As usual with me on Friday evenings, I feel a pleasure in the thought that tomorrow is rest day.

[Page 19]
Saturday, Nov. 1.

I rested but little to-day. Indeed I am more fatigued to-night than usual. My attention has been given to the various matters to-day; moreover, I have had to walk about a great deal.

Sunday, Nov. 2. I am detained at home by a boil in my nose, which has caused that organ to swell and look very much inflamed. It is withal so painful that I doubt whether I could pay strict attention to the sermon. On the whole I have thought best to stay at home. - As I went round inspecting quarters this evening, one of the cadets asked my views on the subject of the Trinity. A Unitarian has been giving him his views on the subject, and he is doubt which to believe. I answered briefly, opposing

[Page 20]
the Unitarian argument. The objection was that he could not understand it. On this ground he would have to reject many other things as untrue.

Monday, Nov. 3.

A very pleasant day, but my inflamed organ, the nose, has curtailed my enjoyment greatly. While write I am in pain.

Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Nothing unusual to-day.

Wednesday, Nov. 5.

After the usual duties of the day I hoped to attend prayer meeting but the rain prevented.

Thursday, Nov. 6.

One of my colleagues suggested to-day that a new branch of the Academy ought to be organized at Yorkville S.C., but I am opposed to it, except as a temporary measure. It was increase

[Page 21]
the expenses unnecessarily, whereas the Academy could be enlarged on its present basis, at less cost by far, besides other advantages that would accrue.

Friday, Nov. 7.

Went through with the usual routine to-day.

Saturday, Nov. 8.

I saw Gen. Jones, Chairman of our Board of Visitors to-day, and suggested the plan of enlarging the Academy as spoken of in my notes of Thursday. He does not favor the organization of a new branch at Yorkville, but would like to enlarge on the present basis. He thinks the use of the college buildings might be obtained for a year, in order to accommodate the large number of applicants.

[Page 22]
Sunday, Nov. 9.

We are frail creatures, liable at any time to fall into temptation. And hence we cannot be too much on our guard, in this sinful world when trials come from sources we do not expect.

Monday, Nov. 10.

I have felt depressed nearly all day, - am a little more cheerful now.

Tuesday, Nov. 11.

It is said that a serious accident happened on the Greenville road to-day - that a number of persons were killed - and others injured. I have no particulars. Hope it is not as serious as reported. Rumors of this kind are generally exaggerated. At best, however it is sad. Moving on quietly, without any warning, perhaps without any sense of danger - all at once, ushered into eternity.

[Page 23]
Wednesday, Nov. 12.

I was pleased to learn this morning, that the accident on the R.R. yesterday was not as bad as it was rumored to be. None were killed, though several were injured, and it is thought mortally so. Saw, at prayer meeting, this evening, a wounded soldier - son of one of our members. Like all others that I have seen he attributed his escape from death to the influence of an unseen hand, or rather “he says he does not see how any of them escaped.” Evidently an unseen hand protected them whether they acknowledge it or not.

Thursday, Nov. 13.

I found it necessary to exercise discipline with vigor this morning, in the case of one of my servants. It was an unpleasant duty, but could not be avoided without the risk

[Page 24]
of injury to the servant. -

While I write this evening a band of music is playing in full blast near by. But a [few] minutes since it left the Academy after serenading all, both officers and cadets. I have to confess, that I am at a loss to know the cause of the unexpected compliment. Perhaps a day or two will develop it, if indeed there is any special cause for it.

Friday, Nov. 14.

We know but little of the suffering of our soldiers, removed as we are from them. I learned to-day that my Bro.-in-law, L. B. R. - a Lt. In the 1st, originally Hagood’s Reg’t., marched over a hundred miles without anything to eat, on the recent expedition into Maryland. From another source I learn that the

[Page 25]
soldiers are often seen crying for something to eat. Is it possible! Men crying for something to eat! Yes, it is so, however unreasonable it at first appears to us. Even men’s hearts are melted, and their eyes give vent to tears, when starvation threatens them. Those accustomed to live in peace and quiet, know nothing of suffering such as ensues from a state of war to those immediately engaged in it. - I have done, as I thought, what I could for the soldiers, but I must try to do more.

Saturday, Nov. 15

A little circumstance occurred to-day that gave me some uneasiness for a while. The milk was observed to have an unusual appearance, and it was supposed that poison had been put in it by one of the

[Page 26]
servants. I could not believe this to be the case, yet in order to have no room for doubt on the subject I had it analyzed. I was gratified to learn that no poison was to be found in it. The servant had been careless, but not criminal.

Sunday, Nov. 16.

Went to S. School this morning - then to church. Heard a good sermon from Bro. C. - He showed that this world is a state of discipline, and that he that is faithful will be happy through all eternity. Went to the meeting of the S. School Society this afternoon, and attended church this evening. I am now feeling tired.

Monday, Nov. 17.

Performed my duties as usual.

Tuesday, Nov. 18.

A letter from Bro.-in-law R. - tells

[Page 27]
me that two snows have fallen on our army up to the 12th Nov. They have no tents and must of course suffer intensely. May God grant that the war may soon terminate!

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Nothing unusual to-day. It is very changeable weather that we are having now, more like April than Nov.

Thursday, Nov. 20

I examined a young man this afternoon, by request of his Father, with a view of ascertaining his qualifications for entering the Citadel Academy 3rd Class. His knowledge of Algebra is rather superficial, yet taking all into consideration, I am not prepared to say that he should not enter the class. To oblige his Father, I will ascertain from the Profs. at the Citadel

[Page 28]
exactly what they expect of a student in order that he may be admitted. Lt. N. examined the young man in Eng. & French.

Friday, Nov. 21

I am feeling more free this evening than for some time past. The recitations have closed for the year. The examination will begin on next Tuesday, after which our duties there will be purely military until January. I fear, however, that my vacation will do me but little good as I shall be confirmed here nearly all the time. The excitement of the times is such that a large number, if not all of our cadets will be kept here to guard against anything like an insurrection among the negroes. For this reason I cannot be

[Page 29]
absent long if at all. But the post of duty is entitled to, and demands our attention. I therefore cheerfully consent to forego whatever of pleasure I might otherwise enjoy. No true man will do otherwise.

Saturday Nov. 22.

The order has been given to keep all the Cadets here during the month of December. It is well to be prepared for any emergency, and hence I think the order a good one. I do not, however, anticipate any hostile demonstrations among the negroes.

Hoping to spend a pleasant and profitable Sunday, I seek repose.

Sunday, Nov. 23

This has been a pleasant day to me. I retire this evening in good spirits.

[Page 30]
Monday, Nov. 24.

I have arranged my subjects to-day for the examination which begins to-morrow.

Our Legislature convened to-day and elected A. P. Aldrich of Barnwell Speaker of the House. I had not thought of him as the Speaker until to-day, a friend told me he was a candidate.

Tuesday, Nov. 25

I am not feeling as cheerful this evening as I would desire. I am weary too which does not make my feelings better.

The result of my examination thus far is very satisfactory.

Wednesday, Nov. 26.

The examination so far as my department is concerned is about concluded

[Page 31]
and I must say that I am very well pleased at the manner in which my boys acquitted themselves. There were a few failures when I had expected successful demonstrations, and then again there were good recitations when I looked for failures. Altogether it was a very creditable examination.

Thursday, Nov. 27.

All the regular members of the Board were present at the examination to-day. Hon. T. C. Perrin, the member elected in the place of Gov. or Col. Means who died of wounds received at the 2nd battle of Manassas, was present and appeared well pleased. He is a fine looking man, and I have no doubt will make an efficient member of the Board.

[Page 32]
The Corps will parade through the streets to-morrow under command of Lieut. Sams. I hope they will acquit themselves well.

Friday, Nov. 28.

I met with the Board of Visitors to-day, but had not much to do as they attended to very little business. - In the afternoon I met with the Academic Board of this Academy, to decide on the cases of certain cadets, - whether or not they should be transferred to the Citadel &c.

This to me is always an unpleasant meeting as my feelings invariably war with my judgment.

Saturday, Nov. 29.

Met with the Board again to-day, and will have to do so again on

[Page 33]
Monday. In the meantime, however, I hope to enjoy a pleasant Sabbath.

Sunday, Nov. 30.

Heard a good sermon to-day from Dr. J. L. R. - Was pleased and somewhat surprised to meet my friend J. F. Lanneau, now 1st Lieut. In the Engineers Corps. His health, I regret to learn, is bad and hence he is on furlough. I did not go to church this evening. I am fatigued, and as I have to get up early in the morning to see my brother off on the cars, I concluded not to go out.

Monday, Dec. 1.

Met with the Board again to-day, was busy all day and until late this evening. I have nothing to record of interest.

[Page 34]
Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Closely engaged again to-day not so much in writing, but in going to and fro. Thus the time has passed, and I have done but little.

Wednesday, Dec. 3.

To-day I was at the State house nearly all day, - heard a long speech about the powers of the Convention - its usurpation &c. I think those who speak so much are better at finding fault than at anything else.

Thursday, Dec. 4. Finished sending off all the warrants to-day to the young men recently appointed to the Military Academy. In a day or two more, I hope to be through with my duties as Secretary B. V.

[Page 35]
or at least through with the great part of it.

Friday, Dec. 5.

Have been engaged the greater part of the day with my duties as Secretary of the Board of Visitors. Father-in-law came down this evening very unexpectedly to us, and I am glad to see his health is better than was represented to me some time ago. -The day has been rainy and unpleasant, out of doors.

Saturday, Dec. 6.

Have had to discharge the duties of Supt. to-day and will do so for some days now, as the Supt. has left on a short furlough. I hope to have no cases of severe discipline.

Sunday, Dec. 7.

A very cold day. - This evening in

[Page 36]
visiting garrison, I was mortified to learn that a number of cadets had assembled in a room, apparently with a view of engaging in a dance or some other kindred amusement. I, of course, put a stop to their proceedings and sent them to their rooms. It is difficult to make boys feel and appreciate the propriety of keeping the Sabbath. This perhaps is owing in many cases to improper parental training in their earlier days.

Monday Dec. 8.

One little case of discipline has already arisen. It is not of much importance, it is true, nevertheless it requires that the laws be enforced. Such is the nature of boys that they must have restraints placed upon them.

[Page 37]
An unpleasant occurrence took place on the street to-day. Two men, in a difficulty, got to shooting at each other and one, perhaps both of them, were hurt, tho’ not seriously it is hoped. It is indeed to be regretted that human nature is so depraved as to give occasion for such scenes. Too much cannot be done to give tone and health to public sentiment on subjects of this kind.

Tuesday, Dec. 9.

To-day was employed partly in testing some samples of powder sent up here by the Governor for that purpose. Not having any other means of proof, Lieut. N. and myself took an eprouvette, and tried the range of the powder as compared with that of DuPont’s

[Page 38]
make. Thus far the proof is very favorable for the new powder but we will try it again to-morrow.

Wednesday, Dec. 10.

We again experimented with the powder to-day, and after being satisfied I reported the result to His Excellency the Governor. Had an old friend to take tea with me this evening.

Thursday, Dec. 11.

As is usual for the officer in command, I have had a great many cases to-day, all of which have received due attention. I had a friend to dine with me, Dr. B. S. R., now a captain in the Army. He has grown quite stout - says a soldier’s life agrees with him. Living in the open air is by many regarded conducive to health

[Page 39]
and I am inclined to believe it is so.

Friday, Dec. 12.

In addition to the discharge of my ordinary duties, I have made arrangements for going on furlough on to-morrow. It is pleasant, for one, occasionally to throw off his responsibilities, and visit his old homestead and those to whom he owes more than to all others living, - his parents. It is therefore with pleasure that I contemplate leaving in the morning.

Saturday, Dec. 13.

Left Columbia this morning, and in due time arrived at Midway, where I learned with regret that my letter had not reached home. They, therefore, did not expect me, and did not

[Page 40]
send to meet us. I, however, succeeded in getting a seat for my wife and child in a borough that was going by Father’s place and after directing the servants to remain at Midway with the baggage until sent for, I set out on foot. In an hour and twenty-five minutes I walked to Father’s place - a distance of between five and a half and six miles. Here I was pleased to find the family all in the enjoyment of their usual health.

Sunday, Dec. 14.

Went out to Bethesda, commonly called the Erwin Church. The minister did not come and a prayer meeting was held, in which I took part by request. There were but few persons out, notwithstanding the beautiful day, and of the few, I noticed two or three

[Page 41]
wounded soldiers. One has lost his leg - amputated just below the knee. A sad sight this - a young man with a life time before him compelled to walk with a crutch for the remainder of his life. And alas! this is not the only instance of the kind. Hundreds and thousands of men in the Confederacy crippled for life. But I will not pursue this train of thought. -Ten years time has brought about many changes. Many men that were here then are not here now, boys have grown up to manhood, and altogether it makes me feel that it has been some time since I used to live here and mingle with the people. How short at best is life! “It is even as a vapor that vanishesth away.” Soon we shall all be gone and our places filled by others.

[Page 42]
Monday, Dec. 15.

Went out to Midway to-day with Father, and there met some old acquaintances but did not hear anything very satisfactory from the seat of war as I had hoped we would. The papers contain very little in the way of details. I learned with regret that Gen. Gregg was killed. He was a brave man and an able General.

Tuesday, Dec. 16.

This afternoon, I went over to see an old widow lady whose son and grandson are in the army. She is in distress. Anxiety about her children, and the want of some of the necessaries of life are preying upon her. I feel for her and all others similarly situated. There are, I fear a great many such.

[Page 43]
Wednesday Dec. 17.

The weather - so warm for a few days past, is again cold. I rode out to Midway to get the papers and learned that a number of troops are being sent to N. C. where Gen. Evans seems to have been beaten by the enemy. Gen. E. may be a good officer, but I must confess that I do not admire the tone of his dispatches. It would seem that he acknowledges no power higher than himself, nor has any regard for a future life.

Thursday, Dec. 18.

Remained quietly at home all the morning. This afternoon went with Lou to visit one of the neighbors. -I am a little more pleased with the news to-day. The indications are that what was lost in N. C. will soon be regained.

[Page 44]
Moreover, Hon. Milledge L. Bonham has been elected Gov. of our State. I think him better qualified for the office than anyone that was nominated, though I have some doubts whether he will be more successful than his predecessor has been in the administration of the affairs of the State. In my opinion, Gov. P. has been censured much without just cause. The people seem to have forgotten that his predecessors had comparatively nothing to do while in office, and, furthermore, that no one man or set of men can please everybody.

Friday, Dec. 19.

Remained about the house all day until late in the afternoon when I went over to see old Bro. C - He is in feeble health, but I hope he

[Page 45]
will recover and be spared for some time yet. He was as usual very happy to see me.

Saturday, Dec. 20.

Attended the Muster ground to-day with Father who has to drill with the 2nd Corps of reserves. Old men and boys compose this corps. Some, I observed, availed themselves of the privilege offered by the Capt. to excuse themselves from drilling on the score of physical indisposition, while others much more seriously indisposed remained in ranks and did their duty. I had hoped Father would avail himself of the opportunity offered to avoid the fatigue of a drill in as much as he is quite unwell, but he did not, nor will be ever do it as long as he can walk. He seeks to

[Page 46]
evade no responsibility of the kind. Would that more men as faithful in the discharge of duty.

Sunday, Dec. 21.

I went to Springtown Church to-day and heard a sermon by Bro. Buist, the pastor, and successor of Rev. W. T. Sanders. His text was in the 34th Chap. of Isaiah, “Seek ye in the book of the Lord.” It was the first sermon I ever heard from him, and it may be that an opinion based upon it would do him injustice. I could but feel, however, that it was not altogether such a sermon as would accomplish the most good to that congregation; yet I believe that he is capable of being very useful as a minister, and I hope he will be so.

[Page 47]
Monday, Dec. 22.

It is always calculated to depress one’s feelings, to bid goodbye to those we love for an indefinite time. Particularly is it so when taking leave of parents who are growing old and wasting away by disease or ill health. Yet duty calls and we must go.

It was not without some entreaty that the conductor would take us on the cars, so great was the number of passengers on board. After getting on we had to stand up for a considerable time. Finally a soldier volunteered to give his seat to Mrs. P. for which I was very thankful to him. I stood up all the way to Columbia, and would have done so had it been as far again rather than act as did some

[Page 48]
men on board. I noticed two who were sitting together, who kept their seats all day, notwithstanding ladies had to stand up. One lady, plainly, but decently clad had to sit by the door on a valise just in front of them all day, yet neither of them moved or offered her a seat. A part of the time they were engaged in speaking of persons who have corn to sell, reflecting upon their generosity in not selling it at a $1.25 per bushel while they were able to obtain $1.50. Thought I, those who would have other be generous or kind, should be so themselves.

We arrived at home safe, though tired - found things going on tolerably well. Hope when we travel again to have a more pleasant

[Page 49]
time. My sympathies were excited by seeing on board some poor women who had been to carry their husbands some clothing, but who had the misfortune to lose it on the way. Another one was going to look for her husband, whom she found was dead. Alas! how much misery has resulted from this war.

Tuesday, Dec. 23d

Have been busy to-day answering letters and attending to other duties that have been accumulated in my absence.

Wednesday, Dec. 24th

To-day, as yesterday, I have been engaged replying to letters and doing other writing that demanded attention. To-morrow I shall be free from such duties. I attended

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prayer meeting this evening and was sorry to see but few out. Perhaps their excuses were good; it is not for me to say they were insufficient.

Thursday, Dec. 25.

This is Christmas Day, and while I write I hear some children making merry. How different we feel at different periods of life. To me to-day is no more than a day of mirth and gaiety than was yesterday. I have had no duties to perform and for that reason have felt more free though not more joyous. Indeed, I cannot indulge a great deal in mirthfulness while our soldiers are exposed as they are. While my being somewhat sedate cannot help them in any way it accords more

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with my feelings, and hence I am more happy than were I to pass along as though no one felt any degree of care or responsibility, or had any hardships to encounter.

Friday, Dec. 26.

I have done little to-day except some fixing up about the yard. Christmas, thus far, has been very quiet and I hope will continue so. Fears were entertained by some, that Lincoln’s proclamation would be the cause of trouble among the negroes about this time or a little later. I have not shared these fears. But for the preparations that have been made, it is possible there would have been some little disturbance. As it is, I think all will remain quiet.

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Saturday, Dec. 27.

I suggested to Gen. Jones, Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the S. C. Military Academy, the propriety of the Board authorizing the publication of a brief memoir of our graduates who fall in battle as well as those who may escape unhurt. He thinks the idea a good [one] and has authorized me to proceed to gather information with a view to carrying it out.

Iam not feeling very cheerful to-day. Wife and babe are both unwell, and the weather is gloomy; but I hope the morrow will be pleasant and that my family will be in better health soon.

Sunday, Dec. 28.

The weather is clear, but I cannot go to church this morning. It is thought proper for an officer to remain on the ground all the while, and as I am the responsible party to-day, I must

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remain at home. - I attend church at night having had the good fortune to get one of my brother officers to relieve me long enough for that purpose.

Monday, Dec. 29.

I am quite unwell to-day. I was taken last night with nausea which has not yet altogether subsided. It originated, I think, from eating something that disagreed with me. I am feeling a little better this evening.

Tuesday, Dec. 30.

My health, or rather my symptoms are better this evening. After fasting all day yesterday, I have been able to eat a little to-day. I fear, however, that I have exposed myself too much to-day for my strength.

I have the pleasure of Bro. J. Nicholas’

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company this evening who has called to spend the night with me.

Wednesday, Dec. 31.

Another year is gone, and with it is fled every opportunity and privilege it afforded for becoming wiser or better. Time lost cannot be regained. I endeavor this morning to impress this upon the Cadets in a few remarks that I made to them at prayers. I also reminded them of their individual accountability, of the certainty of death and a judgement to follow and exhorted them to remember that I uttered truths sanctioned by inspiration as taught in the Scriptures. They gave me their attention closely, and will I hope remember what I said and profit

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by it. A number of them called to bid me goodbye manifesting a very kind spirit. I wish them all well. This evening I attended prayer meeting - an appropriate place, it occurs to em at the close of a year. May God grant to pardon all my sins during the past, and give me grace to discharge my duties properly in the future in my prayer!


Patrick, John B., 1832-1900, “Journal of John B. Patrick, September 28, 1862-December 31, 1862,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed March 30, 2023,