My veins are chilled when I think of the privations and endured during the civil war period. I married R. C. Brazel, 18 miles south of Camden two years before the war began. Our home was a farm. My husband joined General Tappan Grinstead's regiment and was made first lieutenant in 1861. A little girl had been born to us and six months after my husband's departure a little boy came. My father, Rev. William Winburne of the Little Rock conference died in December, 1862, and my mother came to live with me. Her house and all its contents were destroyed by fire and she had the misfortune of breaking her arm in her efforts to escape
They spread general devastation. One incident will do to explain all. My father-in-law Brazel was totally blind. They went to his home, took every horse, stripped the beds, stole the dishes from the pantry and then went to the smoke house and after taking the meat emptied three or four barrels of flour on the floor and mixed in a barrel of molasses. They ordered our negro cook to prepare dinner and tried to induce her to run away with them. She refused. Then they plundered her house and took things of no earthly use to them.
I hope that there will be no more war in my lifetime. The incidents that I have narrated are only a few of those that remain stamped on my memory. Why the great army of the North should have made war upon women and children is hard to understand.
Headquarters Norfolk and Portsmouth
Norfolk, Va., Feb 11, 1864
General Orders No. 3:
All places of public worship in Norfolk and Portsmouth are hereby placed under the control of the provost marshals of Norfolk and Portsmouth, respectively, who shall see the pulpits properly filled by displacing, when necessary, the present incumbents and substituting men of known loyalty and the same sectional demonination, either military or civil, subject to the approval of the commanding general.
They shall see that the churches are open freely to all officers and soldiers, white or colored, at the usual hour of worship, and at other times, if desired, and they shall see that no insult or indignity be offered to them, either by word, look or gesture, on the part of the congregation.
The necessary expenses will be levied as far as possible in accordance with the previous usage or regulations of each congregation respectively.
No property shall be removed, either public or private, without permission from these headquarters.
By command of Brigadier-General E.A.Wilde,
George H Johnson,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General
Headquarter's Provost Marshal's Office,
Norfolk, Va., Feb 13, 1864
Any insult, indignities or abuse offered to officers or soldiers visiting houses of worship under the above order, should be reported at once to this office.
CHARLES M WHELDEN
Lieutenant-Colonel and Provost Marshal, District of Virginia