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I Cannot Return to My Home

My house has been taken over by the United States Military.  They are not occupying the building as of yet but I fear any day they will invade my home.  My cousin Markie Williams, who has stayed loyal to the United States, was able to visit Arlington and retrieve some of her possessions.  She saw the family cat and the servants that we had to leave behind.  I fear that the treasures that I was forced to leave at Arlington will be taken or destroyed by the Union forces.  For years my family was the caretaker of Washington’s memory.  We have many of his possessions and letters.  I could not take everything with me when I was forced to leave my home and so many things had to be locked in the attic and in cupboards.  Markie was not able to bring all of these things back to safety with her either.  She was able to save Anne’s letters and my father’s painting, The Battle of Monmouth, which once hung in the U. S. Capitol. How far we have fallen.

I have come to realize that I will no longer be able to return home anytime soon.  It does not appear that the war will end as soon as it was once thought.  I cannot express the sorrow that I feel when I think of not returning home.  My heart has been crushed into such small pieces I feel as if they could blow away.  I feel as though the country has turned its back on me and my family.  We have done nothing but uphold the memory of Washington and the values and beliefs of the country.

If it wasn’t to relieve the minds of my husband and sons, who are performing their duty, I would not have stirred from the house even if the whole Northern Army were to surround it.  I wonder if it would have been better had I stayed at the house.  Would these zealous patriots who are risking their lives to preserve the Union founded by Washington come and take the home of his great granddaughter away?  Now, whatever I have thought, and even now think, of the commencement of this horrible conflict, our duty is plain—to resist unto death.  In God is our only hope. 

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