Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Homely Women of Dinwiddie County"

From a letter signed by Captain Joseph H. Prime of the 7th U.S. Colored Troops.

Dated ''Friday April 7th 1865,'' entry reads in part: ''went down the road today to find some wounded Rebel Prisoners left here by Sheridan [at] Fords Station we found a Rebel Lt. Colonel and seven (7) enlisted men in the houses at the Station one fellow said that they were in about the same condition the American army was in the war of the Revolution at Valley Forge that Rebel Colonel (Hudson) was a very gentlemanly appearing man and I liked him very much or as much as I possibly could like a Rebel We have heard heavy firing nearly all day at the front.

Dated ''Half past four oclock P.M.,'' entry reads in part: ''our army took six (6) Rebel Generals yesterday and among the rest was General Ewell and they also took thirteen thousand men prisoners at Amelia Court House and General Lee retreated fifteen (15) miles last night towards Farmville where they are fighting hard today. General Lees army must be getting rather small.

Dated "Saturday April 8th,'' entry reads in part: ''McGrady told us that Mr. Echols daughter was the handsomest girl in this (Dinwiddie) County all I have to say is God save me from being obliged to look upon the homely women of Dinwiddie County''

The 7th U.S. Colored Troops served in and around Richmond in the final months of the war. Joseph H. Prime began his service with the 13th New Hampshire Infantry, mustering in 19 September 1862. He was discharged for promotion 29 October 1863 and joined the 7th USCT as a Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain 15 November 1864 and resigned 24 May 1865.

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