This is a copy of material in a small account book or diary which
recounts the trip that Arthur Moray Randolph took to attend his son
Thomas Eston in his last illness in October and November of 1862.
Octr 12 Thomasville - self servant and two horses 3.75
R R fare to Sava. 9.00
Omnibus and supper at Sava. 2.00
Ticket to Augusta 5.30
Omnibus and breakfast 2.
Ticket to Richmond 23.30
Supper at Chastn 1-
Breakfast High Point 1
Night at Raleigh 2.50
Snack at Welden [?] .50
Richmond 1 cap 7. 2 gloves 6 13.00
Sundries and Telegraph 5.00
American Hotel 7.00
[2nd page accounts - JWG] Brot over 18 Octr 77.35
Richd to Gordonsville 3.80
Gordonsville to Culpepper 2.50
Expenses to the plains [?] ------------------------------------- 9___
Total to the plains $92.65
when I arrived 90c Sunday night the 19th Octr.
20th Mr. Smiths wagon brought my baggage
21st by return wagon had opportunity of sending a letter to Laure
to post office at Culpepper C H.
Cash on hand this Octr 21st $610.00
Estons purse 34.00
Octr 28 pd Dr Clarke 120___
Dr Cochran 25. Dr Powell [?] $35.00 [these two lines
Adams shoes 5. flanl shirts 10 15 scratched out - JWG.]
Sunday 19th Octr reached the residence of J. W. Foster Esqr
20th Smiths cart brought over my baggage from his house
21st By return of cart I wrote to Laura, the letter probably leaving
Culpepper on the 23 and may reach its destination by 1st Novr
22d Dr Cochran of Middlebury visited Eston in consultation with Dr
Clark. Eston had had a severe attack of pain on the night before.
23d He had the most comfortable day and night yesterday and last
night, since I've been with him. The weather is cold with high wind
from NE. [At top of page - Octr 23d Thurday [sic] 1862.) JWG.]
Friday 24th. Last evening was a bad for my poor boy, but the night
passed more easily with the help of narcotics. Today the most comfort-
able of the week. Dr. Cochran visited him on Wednesday Dr. Peyton yester-
day and today in conjunction with Dr Clark and this evening Dr Powel
whom I sent for Tuesday, made a call. If in a multitude of council
safety exists, Eston will surely recover. White frost this morning,
clear day with moderate wind.
Saturday Octr 25th. Had a visit from Rev Mr Packard of the Episcopal
Church. He is a relation of Dr Peyton. A tall Iron gray man and from
the state of Maine.
Eston coughed much last night and a good deal this morning less since
noon, expectorates largely. The cough racks him all over and is very
painful. This is a beautiful day warm and smoky.
Sunday 26th My patient rested tolerably last night and passed a
rather comfortable morning. The symptoms remain however unchanged,
perhaps the bowels are in better condition. Weather dull, dreary
cold NE rain falling steadily.
I forgot to note a visit Friday from Assist. Secry. "West" of Florida
and a companion. They had been in the neighbourhood sick as long as
Eston, had recovered and started that day for Winchester. Dr. Richard
Randolph has been near here too on sick leave.
My spirits are below par today, but I strive against despondency. I
can but bless God for enabling me to join my son, to wait no and
administer to his wants, to divert his thoughts from his sufferings
is a labor of love and those the task is to one of my nervous temper-
ament and under the peculiar circumstances a great sacrifice, I
make it gladly and trust it may be accounted as some attonement for
If it please God to hear my prayers and grant me the inestimable
boon of my sons life, that I may get him once more to his Mother
at home, I trust and believe the effect will be most favourable
on my future life. The amount of gratitude will be too large to be
forgotten while I live. But I am trying to do my duty in any event.
Gods will be done.
Octr 27th Monday
Three Doctors held consultation on Eston about 12. The result is
an opinion of his recovery, slowly but surely. A fluctuating tumor
appears near the right nipple it was ineffectually lanced by Dr
Peyton, not deep enough to reach the pus.
28th Dr Clarke paid his farewell visit and I paid his bill $120.
Dr Peyton assumed charge of the case. I wrote favourably of Dr
Clarkes qualities for a surgeons place to the Sec at War. Wrote a long
letter to Laura, more hopeful of our sons recovery, but alas, soon
after noon there was another unfavourable turn, difficulty of breath-
ing and restlessness, lasing pretty well through the night.
Wednesday 29th Eston seems more composed today, but has I fear lost
some ground since yesterday morning. The weather is cold, ice yes-
terday, frost morn.
Eston left at the Regimental depository in Richmond, a dark heavy
Overcoat formerly mine in his Talle. Guards uniform coat, a pair panta-
loon and a blanket.
He had another uneasy turn after dinner.
Thursday 30th Octr.
Eston has passed a more comfortable night and day so far (1 Oc) his
Pulse is now rising and he becoming restless.
I walked up and down the main road as usual for exercise this
morning, observed a man on horseback near the stone fence perhaps
150 yards off, I thought some neighbor conversing with some one
inside the field, returning to the house learned it was Yankee
Picket there being a considerable force at the Village.
To make Osage Orange hedge Manure the land, dig or spade deeply,
when one year old, in the Spring season, cut off the top leaving
only 6 to 10 inches stump. 2nd year repeat at 2 feet height. After
this weave the lateral branches and trim from time to time. Wea-
ther warm and smoky.
Another uncomfortable night difficult breathing and great nervous
excitement. He said frequently, "Father you cant think how wretched
I feel" poor boy, my heart bleeds for you but I am powerless for
good. Read a note from Mrs. M. G. Randolph friendly and kind in
its tone, a box of nick nacks accompanied it, but is not yet come
to hand. There was no frost today.
Miss Margaret Peyton came over in her carriage to bring Estons
box of goodies, sent by Mrs. R. a bottle of port wine among them
may be of much service, Virginians are a kind hearted race.
Dr. Peyton put E. on Muriate of Ammonia and some preparation of iron,
which with Quinine and Morphine at night comprises all the
medicines to be given.
Mr Foster went to Warrington. I sent by him to P.O. 3 letters,
to Laura Sister Mary and Mrs. Mary G. Randolph care Sec of War
Last night was not a good one to Eston, the morphine seems to have
lost its power to make him sleep. Today hes been coughing and
expectorating freely, complains of feeling exhausted by it.
Ferrar and Stringfellow, two scouts were here last night, also two
N. C. cavalry man to dinner, the two first had their horses
stolen out of the meadow back of the stable in broad day light.
Clear and warm.
Dr Peyton wished another consultation with Dr Cochran, so I sent
Adam to Middlebury for him to come tomorrow at 10 00 A. M.
Sunday Novr 2d
Dr Cochran met Dr Peyton here at 11 Oc. Much to my astonishment
they both advised my setting out with Eston for home, that his
strength will service and his chance for recovery be improved by
travel, so Ive spoken to Mr and Mrs Foster about making arrange-
ments for setting out on Tuesday if possible. The Doctors made
another unsuccessful effort to reach the pus in his side, this time
cutting deep. The wound bled freely nothing more. Their examination
was careful and prolonged, the result as stated above. There was
a battle N W from here, cannon were distinctly heard for several
hours. The weather is splendid, Indian summer it is called.
Monday 3rd Weather changed in the night, there is a stiff NW wind
cold and raw with heavy dark banks of cloud in the same quarter.
Estons night was tolerably tranquil. This morning changed his
clothes and lay in the other bed, he coughed considerably and is
so weak. O, so weak. Mr. Foster went out early has just come in
and reports success in hiring a spring wagon for Wednesday next
day after tomorrow. Heavenly Father grant my boy strength to travel
O, hear my prayers. Have this evening engaged a carpenter to make
a litter. Dr peyton here in afternoon and Adam with him for a
lithage [?] plaster and other medicenes. Heavy firing heard about
noon in the same direction as yesterday.
The abcess in Estons side broke through the last made puncture early
in the night, considerable amount of thin whity yellow matter
passed off and still continues running. I gave him 100 drops laudanum
through the night in place of morphine which appears to have lost
any good effect and to make him only more nervous. He rested toler-
ably easy. Theres a white frost on the ground this morning, the
sky perfectly clear. Just before night 7 Yankee cavalry passed
through the yard stopping at the door and questioning Mrs Foster a
few minutes. Cannonade all afternoon and to 8 Oc night.
Eston seemed much worse from 40c yesterday, in more than ordinary
pain tho' dozing oftener than usual, could not touch his supper
but eat it at sunrise today. Gave him 80 drops of laudanum in two
doses through the night. Could not get ready for a start even had
he been able which I much doubt. Dr Chapmans residence, just opposite
this and distant 1/3 mile was burnt. I was probably the first person
to see the fire, happening to look from my window at the moment the
blaze appeared. Only a portion of the furniture was saved.
Genl Stonemans division and Genl Meads passed or are yet passing
9 Oc night. The former is a fine looking youngish man, halted at the
Spring long enough to make coffee. The latter is a contemporary
at W. Point of Genl Longstreet, with his staff took quarters here
for the night. He is clean [?] certainly and a gentleman, is tall
and robust looking. Sentries walked their rounds on every side of
the house and in all directions are to be seen wagons, tents, and
bivouac fires, it is now raining and blowing freshly from NE I
think. They are having a bad time, I can hear them knocking off
planks, palings, etc.
Eston seemed greatly oppressed in the afternoon and last night,
could eat no supper and coughed considerably with but little expec-
toration. I gave him small doses of Laudanum with his cough mixture
several times and kept him tolerably tranquil until day break when
he had a distressing fit of coughing. The division under Genl Mead
passed on toward Warrington but I believe all the balance of McClellans
army have assembled just around the Fosters. In every quarter the
white tents and wagon covers meet the eye while the Yankee specimen
of the Genus homo is everywhere in knots and swarms. A number of
Officers tents are just under my window and a half dozen or more
of the occupants were at the dinner table. Truly no one can say
what a day may bring forth. Who 4 weeks ago would have prophysied
my present position.
Eston continues much the same coughs but little but with far greater
pain than before, he eats less too, only twice a day and little then.
He often exclaims, "death would be far preferable to this". God
help him, he is beyond human aid. Genl Fitz-John Porter and staff
occupy the sitting room, great numbers of troops are massed around
on every side. Snow began to fall about 9 Oc, now, 12, the ground
is white with it.
Mr. Foster tells me on the 7th Novr 1807 he was born, the snow was
so deep the Dr had great difficulty reaching his Fathers house
2 miles off.
Eston much the same, has fits of coughing that are short but so
severe as almost to carry him off. He is kept tolerably quiet by
opiates and dozes a light troubled sleep a good deal. He groans and
moans more now than he did. It is a bitter trial. O father have mercy
in thy chastisement. The camp is broken up and army gone on but the
poor country is stripped. The Officers seem to be gentlemanly men, that
is the Staff. I saw little of others. Dr Moore is Med Director of
Porters division, inquired after Col Ward and some other Floridians.
By 10 Oc the sun was shining brightly, tho there are many
clouds around the horizon and it continues cold.
I find that only Fitz John Poters division or corps that has moved,
Large bodies of the army still remain.
Dr. Peyton called to see Eston late in afternoon, he is very dolor-
ous over his losses. As night comes on the clouds thicken and wind
rises evidently getting colder, patches of snow still lie about
the lawn and fields. Mr. Foster has a rumor that McClellan is super-
seeded [sic] by Genl Burnside.
Eston passed a bad night, the usual amount of anodyne failed to
give sleep, owing mostly to short but painful fits of coughing -
perhaps this was caused by a change for the worse, colder, about
night. The sky is quite overcast by dull leaden clouds and theres
a high wind blowing from NE. Yankee Army all gone from around here
except one Cavalry Reg' under Major Beaumont New Jerseymen. This
took a scare about noon broke up their camp hurriedly came rushing
by and drew up in line in the field opposite. They returned to
their camp ground in a couple of hours. We did not discover the
cause of the stampede.
Another bad night for my poor boy, no respite from coughing spells,
most painful and distressing, how he keeps up is most wonderful.
for nearly a week he has taken but two meals a day and they spare
ones he cannot sleep without an opiate and badly then is constantly
strange, truly strange how he lingers.
Estons cough very troublesome had to give during the night nearly
1 gr morphine. This morning he is comparatively quiet. Dr Speiden
failed to keep the appointment for 12 Oc today. Dr Peyton there-
fore desires Dr Cochran sent for again and Adam is now gone on
the blind mare. The day is bright and delightful white frost this
morning. Adam returned 8 Oc, having been stopped on the road by
Yankees and delayed some time. The mountain next Thoroughfare gap
Is on fire extensively and presents a striking view from the upper
windows. Mr Houston Foster spent the day with his parents.
The abcess in Estons side opened again late yesterday and has run
more already, 10 Oc, than it did when first lanced. His side fur-
ther back than this opening where theres an internal abcess was
very painful and his night consequently bad.
Weather changed again, cloudy and spitting rain.
Dr Cochran did not come as was appointed.
Two dutch Yankees carried off Jimmys blind mare, given him by an
Officer of Porters Corps.
Eston passed a tolerably easy night by the aid of heavy opiates.
The abcess is discharging freely all the time, surely it must come
from inside the chest.
The Doctors have determined my conjecture to be right and consider
the one opening sufficient to empty the chest did not make a second
as was intended. The cough and pain are much abated, all the bad
symptoms in fact, and the good ones are strengthened, pulse better
appetite improving etc.
Cleared off again quite cool.
Eston not troubled by cough but still nervous and unable to sleep.
The discharge not so large but more thick, towards night stoping [sic]
almost entirely. Still I believe he is better. I yesterday wrote
to Laura again, giving the letter to Dr Cochran who expected to be
able to forward it to a Post Office by some round about way.
Walked to the village with Mr. Foster to get the tailor to cut a
pr pants for me. Called at Mr Thos Fosters and saw his wife and
Pretty much as the night before. Theres little cough, very little
pain, but an exhaustion, an extreme of weakness from which his
system appears unable to rally. The discharge has quite stopped,
and I have put on a plaster over the orifice. A Squad of Yankees
came by about noon, both horse and foot as skirmishers. Heavy
cannonade for many hours in the direction of Warrinton. I counted
the reports, 8, then 27, 10, 3, 7. We get no reliable news only
rumors vague and uncertain.
Eston had a quiet night, sleeping most of it. Still he is not so
well as I hoped, owing most probably to the cessation of the discharge
of the abcess. The pus of course is being absorbed into the system
and causes great disturbance. I have been much troubled for a week
past with irritability of the bladder, sufficient to keep me feeling
very uncomfortable and awake for much of last night. Cold cloudy
dull morning, breakfast 9 ½ Oc. Mr Foster is complaining too, has
caught cold to which he is quite subject.
Another uncomfortable night. He thinks he scarcely slept but is
mistaken in this yet his sleep was not sound and refreshing.
Some little rain in the night, day broke on a leaden. Lowering
sky, and thick atmosphere. My own complaint seems rather better.
I walked up to the Shoe Maker Elgin to order a pr shoes or boots.
He had one pr shoes ready made and persuaded me to purchase them
altho very tight, they were so nice and good that I was tempted
and gave 8$ for them but after repeated trials find them too small
and must return them. Cloudy with several showers through the day.
Eston passed a tolerably easy night, and with less than his usual
Quantity of opium. He sat up yesterday for a half hour or more.
There's little disease about him now, only the extreme exhaustion
and emaciation of nearly three months sickness. Another cloudy
morning moving into a shinny [sic] day. Heavy firing again for
several hours in the direction of Warrington. 3 Yankees here about
breakfast and Stringfellow and companion at tea. Returned my new
shoes being entirely and painfully too small.
1862 A/c t
Novr 18th cash on hand $524
Pr Shoes Adam 5 - do mending 5.25
4 flannel shirts and 4 pr socks 11.
1 bottle whiskey
There was a rise in Estons pulse afternoon yesterday and he drank
much water through the night tho slept tolerably easily. His bowels
have not been effectually moved for two days probably the cause,
if not there must be another accumulation of pus in the chest which
may God avert! Miss Cornelia Hampton gave me a pair of nice yarn
Socks of her own knitting. Walking out soon after I found a per-
fectly good pair at one of the yankee camps. I have now picked up,
an axe, a metallic tar bucket, two bayonets, 1 good flannel shirt,
a tolerable jacket and sorry [sic] pair pants, besides lesser matters.
During the night the discharge from the abcess was renewed and
Eston told me he felt a considerable relief. His pulse continues too
rapid tho', nearly 120, and it is evident the discharge is not
free enough. Quite a stormy night, rain and high wind from South.
We have news that the Yankees have left Thoroughfare gap. This
is certain, and that they have taken the road to Alexandria.
They left in such haste as to be unable to remove provisions stores
Etc which as usual they burnt.
I bought of the servants 4 flannel shirts and 4 pr yarn socks for
$11. Showers all day.
Eston rested quietly, under the usual dose of opium. I much fear
however he had fever in the afternoon, his pulse for the last 48
hours averaged 120, but little discharge.
Had two pr pantaloons cut by Mr Chinn 25 cents each, one for myself
the other for Eston. Mrs. Foster kindly consented to sell me the
I walked over to the plains and afterwards to Mr. McDaniels but
did not find him at home. This was yesterday evening. Partially
cleared off this afternoon and with cold N. W. wind.
The discharge continued copious and thick until some time in the
night when it ceased or nearly so. He says he did not sleep well
but was at all events quiet as I know from being awake much of the
night myself thinking of my cruel position and the necessity for
my leaving him here. I broke the matter to him this morning,
he took it quietly, admitted the necessity for my going but said
he would miss me very much, poor boy, poor boy, my heart bleeds
for him and I almost doubt which is my path of duty, to go or stay.
God knows I desire to pursue the right one. Towards night banks
of black cloud rolled up from the North accompanied with a high
biting cold wind. Reading to Eston from Georgia scenes some
of the comic parts elicited a hearty laugh, giving me equal pleasure
and astonishment. He also admitted to Mr Farrow who called to see
him, that he felt somewhat better. Mr Beverly sent him some birds,
a very acceptable present. The discharge ceased about 2 Oc. I put
another tent in the orifice.
Sunday 23 d
Eston passed a tranquil night. The discharge is quite stopped yet.
Put clean shirts on and washed his body with a wet rag, thereby
adding much to his comfort. He never eats supper, not for two weeks
but quite a hearty breakfast and dinner. Miss Mary Foster who went
on a visit to Warrington of a few days, returned last night after
an absence of nearly five weeks! From her I learn that G. W. Ran-
dolph has been displaced and a Mr. John Sedden reed the appointment
of the Sec of War!
His bowels having been obstinately costive I gave enema last night
with complete success. Theres no discharge from abcess yet, but he
rested quite well.
Discharge returned at 12 Oc freely. He has been sleeping more than
half the day a very unusual circumstance. Sent Adam again for Dr
Cochran at request of Dr Peyton, he is not well and cannot come
before Wednesday at soonest.
This has been a cold day the ground hard frozen early in morning.
Saw Richmond Examiner of 18th inst.
This is my poor boys birthday is it the last he will ever have?
He is this day of age, 21 years old. Alas poor fellow, dear child,
my first born, how hard is it to give him up. How monstrous are
the workings of providence, why was he born, why lived to manhood,
why this cruel sickness this unmitigated suffering for a fourth of
a year. For what sin or whose is this terrible chastisement? O Lord
God be merciful, is it not enough O God? Now let thy servant depart
In peace, or rescue him from the pit for thou alone now can save
him alive. Cloudy and rain, disagreeably cold.
Eston rested tranquilly, more so than usual - perhaps because I
had his bed beaten and shaken up well. No change in his symptoms.
The discharge is arrested again. Some rain in the night, cloudy
and cold wind now.
Drs Cochran and Peyton after another consultation determined on
the operation of penacentis [?]. It was performed and followed
by a discharge of at least two quarts of pus, thick and of a greenish
yellow colour, warm water was repeated injected until it came away
barely discoloured. Chloroform was given previous to operating.
The night was passed pretty much as usual. He is unconscious of
Any favourable change in his symptoms or feelings even which seems
strange. This day completes the third month of his illness!
Good God what a period of suffering.
Very cold, ground hard frozen, ice in the shade the whole day.
Mr Foster began threshing wheat, I witnessed the working of the
machine which is very thorough, beating out and fanning at the
same time. It requires eight horses.
Gave E. enema again.
Eston rested quite well I gave him only ½ the usual opiate,
substituting a cathartic pill for second dose without his know-
ledge. Kept poultice to the cut no discharge from it as yet.
Eat too hearty a breakfast and was troubled about the stomach and
bowels afterward, took no more nourishment all day, gave him enema
at dark attended by almost immediate and full relief. Accompanied
Mr F. in a long walk, to McDaniels, Temple Smiths, and Mr Welsh.
Eston rested as well as usual with one opium pill and a few drops
laudanum. He has eat nothing for 24 hours which is bad for him.
Cloudy raw morning threatening instant rain.
Estons clothing left in Richmond
one coat formerly mine Redish brown woolen pants
old uniform coat 1 large white blanket
Black figured vest
I left for home under the cruel deception that my son was virtually
out of danger. Yet in 9 days he was a corpse, God forgive me and
Left in Mr Fosters hands $275
Paid servants $6
Gave Adam 5
Have in hand 205
and some small change
To and at Culpepper 28.00
To Gordonsville 3.00
To and at Richmond 8.00
To Welden 4
To Augusta 18.85
To and at Sava. 5.50
To No 17 8.50
To and at Monticello 6
To Tall. 1.75
A small slip of paper included in the book has one sketch on each
side. Under a head on one side is a note "other side Eston
sketched himself surveying in Appalachie swamp Decr 1859".