DIARY TELLING OF TWO CHESTS OF CSA SILVER BEING BURIED IN ABBEVILLE SC

gldhntr

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Dec 6, 2004
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BEFORE Mr. Davis left Abbeville I begged him to allow me to accompany him, but he told me that it would be impossible, as I had no horse, and that it was not in his power to procure me one. He spoke to me in the most fatherly way, saying that as soon as things quieted down somewhat I must make my way to the trans-Mississippi, where we still had an army and two or three small gun-boats on the Red River, and in the mean time he would give me a letter to General Fry, commanding at Augusta, asking him to attach me temporarily to his staff. He also gave me an official communication for General Fry and instructed me to try and get transportation by some wagon going in that direction.

I watched Mr. Davis as he mounted his horse, bade him good-bye, and stood looking after him as he took the road which led to Washington, Georgia. That was the last time I ever saw him.

Hearing of a farmer who had an old broken-kneed, spavined white horse hid in the swamp, I soon made a deal with him by which I became the owner of the equine frame and he the possessor of several thousand dollars in Confederate money which he believed some day in the vague future would have a value. I then went to Augusta, and when I gave General Fry the document Mr. Davis had entrusted me with (the contents of which I never learned) I believe I delivered the last official communication President


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Davis ever sent to a general of the Confederate Army.

In Augusta I remained only two or three days. Every one realized that the end of the Confederacy had come so far as they were concerned, and people were flying from the city not knowing where they were going--only anxious to escape from the place they were in.

General Fry advised me to return to Abbeville, as I had friends there, and being of no possible use where I was, I accepted his kindly counsel and returned.

The soldiers who had accompanied Mr. Davis had not surrendered at Appomattox, but now there was a stream of paroled men, and men who had deserted before the end came in Virginia, passing through the once peaceful town. While these men committed no outrages when they went into a private house to ask for food or shelter, they adopted a threatening attitude which was very offensive. Fortunately a younger brother of Mrs. William L. Trenholm, a lieutenant in the South Carolina regulars, arrived, and while we could not prevent the crowds of hungry men from swarming over the lower floors of the house, where although not invited, they made themselves very much at home, we could and did keep them from invading the upper portion of the home where the ladies secluded themselves.

When the danger from our own men had passed, owing to their hurried exit from the town, we had immediately to prepare for another. Sherman's men were very near and were fast approaching, and the inhabitants were in mortal terror of the lawless crew known as "Sherman's bummers," who rode on the flanks of his army, accounts of whose fiendish outrages were on every tongue.

While we noticed no change in the demeanor of the slaves, still we had no means of knowing what their attitude would be when the Union troops entered the place, and this uncertainty caused us some anxiety.

In the house were two large and very heavy chests of


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silver which Lieutenant Macbeth (Mrs. W. L. Trenholm's brother) and I determined to attempt to save by burying it. We were afraid to take any of the negroes into our confidence, so we determined to do the work ourselves. We waited until midnight when every one on the premises was supposed to be asleep, and then, carrying our spades, we stealthily stole into the garden and proceeded to dig two large graves. The night was well suited for our work, as there was a moon but it was somewhat obscured by clouds. When we had finished our task we entered the house and by great exertion managed to carry out the chests and bury them. As soon as they were covered with earth, it was evident, even in the dark, that the newly upturned ground would betray us. There was nothing left to do but to dig up the entire garden if our hiding-place was not to attract the attention of the first passer-by, and this we at once proceeded to do. It was no light job, as the garden must have comprised nearly an eighth of an acre, and daylight came while the task was still uncompleted. I suddenly looked up from my work and there, to my consternation, I saw "Nat," Mrs. Trenholm's butler, the slave whose loyalty to the family we had grave doubts about, leaning against the fence, on the top of which his arms were resting while he calmly watched what we were doing. I asked him how long he had been there, and he frankly replied: "I'se been here ever since you gentlemen started work." I then asked him why he had not offered to help us, and he said it was because he thought we did not want any one to know what we were doing. Naturally it was too late to make any other disposition of the silver, and we felt sure that it would be lost. That morning the advance guard of the Federals entered the village. Two or three soldiers came to the house and I saw "Nat" (standing over the very spot where the silver was buried) talking to them. Of course we expected a demand would be made for spades, but, be it said to "Nat's" honor, he never betrayed us.


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A few years after this incident occurred, I met "Nat" in Columbia. He was then a member of the legislature and one of our lawmakers! The Union soldiers did not molest us in any way, and much to our astonishment who should drive up to the house but "Daddy" Peter, Mr. Trenholm's old negro coachman, with the landau and its handsome pair of bays. "Daddy" Peter, on the approach of Sherman's army to Columbia, had fled to the swamp with his cherished horses and hidden them until the danger of their being seized had passed. Mr. and Mrs. George Trenholm next arrived, Mr. Trenholm being still quite ill. Nobody seemed disposed to molest him, although the Federal authorities knew of his presence in the town.

Major Julian Mitchel unexpectedly arrived at the house and informed us that all Confederate officers who had not been paroled were being arrested and treated with a great deal of harshness. As there was no officer of the United States Army authorized to parole us nearer than Washington, Georgia, forty miles away, Colonel Trenholm, Major Mitchel, and myself got into Mr. Trenholm's carriage at daylight the next morning and drove to Washington, Georgia, where we were most affably received by Captain Lott Abraham, U.S.A., who took our paroles and gave us each, for our own protection, a certificate that we had been paroled.
 
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gldhntr

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Dec 6, 2004
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not really sure if trenholms diary had a son in law or not but the diary i posted this from could very well be written by a morgan..can't remember as i didn't see it as being important at the time of reading it.....see you have changed up your name again ?...have a great day AA :icon_scratch:............gldhntr
 
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gldhntr

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Dec 6, 2004
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i see that franklin/beale/jeffdavis/albertatwell/whateverelse is still deleting his posts about as often as he changes his name...i personally would think there was some reason for that ? ? ? :wink:.....why post if you are going to delete ?.. :dontknow:.why change your name unless there is something to hide ? :icon_scratch:
 

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