Please note, this source contains outdated language referring to African Americans.
Claytonville Nor. Car.
March 31st 1864
Gov. Z. B. Vance
My dear sir,
I would have ventured to write sometime ago but continuing good health keeps me at home (my mother in law’s). I have not been [in] the village, (H), since Dec 24th ‘till last Saturday. I am “chilling” for which I can find no cure, and otherwise afflicted. Yet I have a hope I am now permanently improving and that I shall outlive this cursed war and be at the entombing of its accursed originators. Of course I mean their political burial and will add even more if good might come of it to our almost ruined country. But don’t misconstrue my position-I am neither a Tory…..There with me are synonymous: our aim by hope, as I think, is in a firm, manly resistance to the Northern invasion.
Do you know our conditions here? Want absolute stares us in the face. I will not say starvation, but a suffering for food, is the only prospect to many families, is in the Congress’ District. When I look into the future, difficulties thicken and the present prospect darkens. The laborers have nearly all been taken away. The Enrolling Officers are now going around in this district. The few they leave with the aid of the negroes (which you know are not many in this section) will be barely sufficient, if at all so, to produce bread and meats, for home consumption. With these statements, I would call your attention to the following fact: if the militia are called a few more times, between this and the gathering of corn, our citizens, “nearly all”, not owning slaves, will suffer for food next winter or the spring and summer of 1865. The gardens may be sufficient-until the winter. Afterwards, suffering, and I believe starvation, will follow unless our wants are satisfied from abroad. Individually, I hope I have nothing to fear in this way. The wants of my immediate relatives, will, I think, all be [openly] provided for. But, there can be no guarantee against the power of starving scared. Taking by force, will be the order of the day. It is almost so now. The minority will have. The majority will want and take.
As I ask with due difference, if anything can be done, to relieve our “House Guard”, until crops are made and thirty are now on due for sixty days. I think it’s safe to say, 25 of these will almost miss a crop. I learn 30 more go when these come in. Can a plan to bring in starvation be better devised?
Holden Stocks, now high here in Dec[ember], Jan[uary], and Feb[uary], it seemed above ours. It is high yet it fell at Withersboro, and there is quiet now. Plenty however still in market but certainly in the decline. You cannot loose by do[ing] the same things often. I send you part of a letter received as dated. Being “in confidence” I withhold the name I wrote a stiff reply: No [ours] in this war, I am with the South and sink and swim with it. [Deduram] is a Tory, but may be bought: he is for Holden. Don’t rely on him. Write whenever I can serve you. Believe me to be your friend and humble servant.
Citation: Mrs. Love, Letter from Mrs. Love to Zebulon Baird Vance, March 31, 1864, Civil War Era NC. https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/727. Accessed 21 August 2023.
- What has Mrs. Love been forced to do due to “the power of starvation”?
- Both letters in Sources 2 and 3 are written to the governor. What can you conclude about the power that is given to state government?
- What can be the long term effects of not regulating scarce necessities during the war?
Entombing: putting in a grave; burying
Synonymous: expressing or implying the same idea
Tory: typically someone loyal to Britain during the American Revolution; during the era of the Civil War someone most closely aligned with beliefs of the Democratic Party