1861 July 31 Clarke County, Va.

[fromt he diary of Matthella Page Harrison as transcribed at a later date]

This has been a sad day to me.  I have been looking over old letters preparatory to burning, since the raid of the Germans who scattered relics to the winds desecrated what had been hidden from the eyes even of the family.  I thought it best although it wrung m heart to do so and seemed like a complete severation from those dear ones in heaven whose written words are all that is left of their deep, warm affection. Oh it is a sad thing to be left the last one in the homestead that once was vocal with tones of love and merriment, some in the silent tomb. The others may be at this moment on the battlefield, the iron hail of the foe raining around.  God have mercy upon them, in life or death take them for thine own.  And another, not a brother but who was like one and made life’s springtime and noon tide brighter,  I heard today is gone from earth.  Julian Carter. As I write his name his image, replete with lighthearted merriment, comes before me and I cannot think him dead.  A private in Letcher’s guards, the only one killed in the fight of Malvern Hills on July 4th. The awful message comes with dreadful distinctness, but if God was with him as his spirit winged its way from the dreadful carnage, he is at rest while we mourn on for a few more ears.  Our term of probation is only a little longer.  God give me grace to improve it.  We drove to Berryville this evening to hear news but heard none. One of the Winchester pickets was shot last night.  They avenged his death by burning the house of the offender.  Winchester is still inaccessible.

MSS 9759

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