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MANUSCRIPTS COLLECTIONS

"Mrs. Carmichael's Tale of the War"

Manuscript, undated, "Mrs. Carmichael's Tale of the War," anonymously written by Elizabeth Ann Carmichael Rumph Jamison relates her Civil War experiences, a "tale of some of the anxieties and sufferings that came to myself my family and some of my friends during the four years of our unhappy struggle." Beginning with the bombardment of Ft. Sumter, Mrs. Jamison takes the reader through the volunteering for service, formation of companies, and departure of troops for Virginia. Her eldest son and her son-in-law, she records, were among the first to volunteer for Confederate military service. "We who had to stay at home and wait for news from the army had many times heavy hearts," the narrative continues. "But there was much for the mothers and mistresses on our southern plantations to do. And, it is astonishing how much was accomplished too." Soon, however, Mrs. Jamison remembered, "battles became heavier and weary waiting almost intolerable, followed." In fighting near Richmond, Va., her second son, John, was wounded in 1862. Then in May 1864, at the Battle of the Wilderness, her son-in-law, Micah Jenkins, was shot and killed. Barely four months later, her husband, David Flavel Jamison, died of yellow fever. With the approach of Sherman, the Jamisons refugeed from coastal South Carolina to the interior of the state and lived for a time with friends in the Pee Dee. Mrs. Jamison's account further details efforts of her son John to elude capture by Yankee forces near Bennettsville. Having learned of Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination, and being assured that Union troops had departed the area for North Carolina, Mrs. Jamison and her family began their arduous journey home to their Edisto Island plantation. En route they dined in the burned-out city of Columbia with a family of free blacks. When they arrived home in late May 1865, only the chimneys and foundations of their dwelling remained. The Jamison sons set out to build a log cabin, complete with floor boards salvaged from rafts sunk in the Edisto River during the war, and, in Elizabeth Ann Jamison's own words, "thus we lived and toiled on hoping for better times."

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