Important 8 Page Letter Written from Fancy Hill Plantation – Sallie C. Conrad Describes Atrocities Committed by Yankees Including “Savage looking Negroes, most of them rode white horses” — Sallie Had Two of Her Boys Taken From Her!
In researching “Fancy Hill” all you have to do is Google it and you will see that is on the National Historic Register of Historic Places… and guess what, it is for sale! The letter that we are offering is probably the finest plantation letter that we have seen. Fancy Hill is located in Glasgow, Va. In this letter dated July 18th, 1864, the writer, Sallie C. Conrad, is writing to a friend named Fannie and describes the horrible events that have happened to her starting in May of 1864.
Here are some of the great lines:
• I was very glad to hear from you again & that you were well & had not been visited by the vile Yankees. The witches have caused me more trouble than I have ever had in all my past life from the time they landed on the south side of James River. We were in anxious expectation & dread of a visit from them. On Friday the 6th of May, they fought our forces at Port Walthal Junction, two miles & a half below our house on the Petersburg railroad. We could hear the musket firing distinctly. The canon was terrific. They repulsed our forces for a time, but they rallied & drove them & held possession of the battlefield.
• On Monday the ninth, three Brigades came in. Oh, Fannie, you can’t imagine my terror when I saw them approaching, hollering & whooping like Indians.
• I ran out as soon as the officers rode up & asked protection from the depredations of their troops & to my agreeable surprise, they ordered a guard in front & back of my house, & General Turner, who was in command, told me nothing should be disturbed.
• The officers walked around & made themselves at home, told us any quantity of lies about our defeats & their successes & were very confident they would have Richmond in a very short time & would put the old Beast up as governor & dictator. My dear Charles talked very boldly to them…
• They contradicted, good humoredly & told him Grant had routed Lee & he was flying before him to Richmond. I had to stop Charley, but could not do it, & when they went away, they told me they wanted to take him with them a short time. I forbid it & asked them what they wanted with him. They replied they wanted to take him before General Gilmore whose headquarters were a mile & a half below Chester & pledged me their honor as gentlemen they would return him to me unharmed in an hour. I resisted them & they said they would have to take him by force.
• They put him on a horse & he rode of with General Turner & I have not seen him since…
• …an unfeeling witch in the garb of a Col. came on Thursday the twelfth & demanded Parker & did take him away by force.
• I hid Park for a time & he said if he finds the house, he reckoned he would be brought out.
• I ran in my chambers & shut the door & this private came in & said to me, ‘Madam, I would advise you to give him up. It will save you a great deal of trouble.”
• They had already taken one child with the pledge of honor to return him & had not & now tearing the second one lining around my waist, begging me not to let them take him, or to go with him. I thought I should go mad. He was taken before General Gilman who said he was too young to do them any harm & sent him back to me to my great relief. Oh, they are the most cruel unfeeling witches living. They then treated our people so badly, particularly our ladies, many of the most respectable. They then raped the Negroes joining them.
• They had a Negro Regiment of Cavalry which I feared more than them, which troops they picketed in & around Chester. They were savage looking Negroes, most of them rode white horses.
• They thought I had Mr. Conrad hid. Johnny & our servants were sent to Richmond before they came & I would have sent Charley if I had any thought they would have taken him. On Tuesday the thirteenth, our forces came down & met the Yanks in a haft’ a mile of our house & fought them. The shells came over our houses. I ran to the woods with my little children & screamed all day.
• … if the war continues another year Johnnie will have to go in. Willie is all safe. His Battery is near Petersburg. I got a letter from him Saturday last. He was well. They are working a mortar battery with a bomb proof case mate.
• The Yankees may cut me off& I could not hear from my family. I would be miserable.
• I trust their day of retribution is not far distant. I can’t believe our just God will favor such a people as the Yankees. In all history there is not such a war read of or this. If I could see you, I would tell you of some of their acts that would amaze you.
• Fannie, unite with me in praying that my dear captive boy may be soon returned to his home unharmed.
The letter is written in nice dark ink, is easily read and of course we provide a transcription. A truly remarkable historic piece.
#L673.7-18-64 – Price $795