Jacob Eliot's
Civil War Journal
Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index || Civil War Index


Published as "The Diary of Jacob Eliot" by Alva Taylor
Reprinted from the Navarro County Scroll - 1965
Printed with permission of the
Navarro County Historical Society
Permission by Mrs. William J. McKie


Jacob Eliot was born September 20, 1803, in the State of New York.  He came with his parents to Kentucky where he was educated.

Jacob married Lucinda Mays.  They had four children, Eva, Lou, Rox Ann, and W. J. who died in infancy.

Eva married Dr. B. D. McKie.  Lou married H. P. Walker, and Rox Ann married William Croft.

In the summer of 1849, Jacob Eliot along with his children and their families packed their wagons and headed to Texas and Navarro County where he became a land trader.  Records at the courthouse show Jacob Eliot made his first land purchase February 5, 1850.  It seemed taxes on 3,605 acres belonging to John White were overdue.  The tax was $12.81.  The land was sold for the tax by W. B. McCabe, the Tax Collector.  The tax was paid by Eliot.  The land was on Richland Creek, south of Corsicana.  Here the Eliots and children lived until Mrs. Eliot died.  A few years later, Mr. Eliot returned to Kentucky and married Miss Ann Ceddez.  After returning to Texas, they made their home in Corsicana where Mr. Eliot became a prominent attorney and devoted much of his time to Navarro County's part in the Civil War, as we see from his diary he kept during those critical years.  Mr. Eliot called his record book "The Journal."  We borrowed the Journal to take notes of daily events in Corsicana from 1861 to 1865.  Mr. Eliot died December 11, 1870, and is buried in Oakwood, Corsicana, Texas.

(A diary written by Jacob Eliot of Corsicana, Texas, from 1861 to 1866. We are interested in the part pertaining to the Civil War days.)

Mr. Eliot writes: on Friday, the 28 of December, 1860, news reached Corsicana, Navarro County, that South Carolina, by a formal ordinance of her State Convention, had withdrawn from the Federal Union. Corsicana was pleased with the news and for want of a cannon, celebrated the event by firing anvils. A large portion of our citizens are following the example of South Carolina -- that of secession ---.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 1861: -- Our election first was 181 for secession and 6 against in Corsicana. -- A very quiet election.

January 12, 1861: -- Started to Austin in buggy pulled by two mules; made 40 miles first day, stopping at Newtons, reached Austin at 3 o'clock on January 15th, spent the night in home of G. R. Freeman, Esq.

January 17: -- Called at the house of Major Rust where I had conversation with Justice Wheeler -- found him decidedly in favor of secession. Which, if peaceable, might result in a reconstruction, as I understood him, but if the North decided on coercion, separation would be permanent.

January 18: -- Left Austin for home. Arrived on 22nd. I went and paid my town tax of $3.00 (dollars) to Mrs. Foster.

January 25: -- Just read newspaper of Secession of Georgia from the American Union.

January 27th: -- Sunday. In the diary Mr. Eliot writes: "I?? a beautiful, cool, frosty morning. Our church meeting day. Elder H. R. Puryear preached. Had Puryear and Williams over to dinner. Also preaching to-night by Elder H. R. Puryear. His text: Matthew 16 to 26. After dinner, wife and I went over to visit Jas. L. Persons at Rush Creek."

Feb. 7, 1862: -- J. A. Clayton, member of the Convention, reached here last evening bringing a copy of Ordinance and the action of the Convention in relation to the election to be heldon the 23 inst. Also the correspondence between a Committee of the Convention and Gov. Houston, in which the Gov. endorses the action of the Convention.

Friday, Feb. 8, 1861 -- Rich L. Askew, member of the Secession Convention from Hopkins, called. I gave him a bottle of Mustang wine. Drank some and finished it. He says the Convention elected seven delegates to the Southern Convention, to-wit: Hemphill, Migfall, Regan, Gregg, Paul, Oldham and Ackinson.

Sat., Feb 16, 1861: -- News reached here that Gov. Brown of Georgia had taken possession of 5 New York ships in the port of Savanna, to retaliate on the New York police for seizina a cargo of muskets belonging to the people of Georgia. Also that Col. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, had been appointed Provisional President of the Southern Congress, in session at Montgomery, and A. J. Stephens of Georgia, Vice-President.

Sunday, Feb 19: -- Attended church. Parson Modrell doing the preaching. His text -- Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 21. -- I met Parson Stokes in town to-day.

Saturday, Feb. 23, 1861: -- Corsicana voted today 213 for secession and 3 against. Parson Cunningham, Parson Puryear dined with us.

Sunday, Feb, 24: -- Parson Puryear stayed here last night. Preached at 11 o'clock today and to the Negroes at 3 o'clock.

Monday, Feb. 25, 1861: -- Capt. Hodge, J. T. Parsons and T. C. Neil, members of the State Convention, dined with us. J. H. Clayton and T. C. Neil, went to Austin as members of the Convention. The vote of Navarro County, Saturday was 621 for secession and 38 against....in all the county, 659 votes. Our cook is sick. Mrs. Eliot cooked dinner today. Just received newspaper from Galveston -- prospects brightening for peaceable secession.

Sunday, April 21: -- The mail of today brings news of the surrender of Fort Sumpter at Charleston Harbor and excitement in both North and South in relation to expected hostilities.

April 29, 1861: -- News reached us today that the Baltimoreans had a battle with the Massachusetts regiment and killed 100 of them and took 700 prisoners, also took 800 stands of arm of the improved kind.

Thursday, May 2: -- A volunteer Company was organized by electing officers, C. M. Winkler, Captain; Gordon, First Lieutenant, to offer their services as Cavalry or Infantry, whichever was wanted, and to march at 24 hours notice.

May 11, 1861: -- Home guard Company met first time to drill. Was drilled by Capt. W. W. McPhail. I am now 57 years old and have not been on drill - until today - since 1836, when I was Quartermaster of a regiment under Col. Morgan in Hardin County, Kentucky.

Monday, May 27, 1861: -- Attended the program of flag presentation. Saw the two flags presented by our ladies to the two Corp of Volunteers. I received $1.00 from Col. H. Jones to purchase military manual in Galveston for Hobb and for Crossland. Mrs. Eliot, Mrs. McKie and Mrs. Walker rode out to see the volunteers start to Alabama today.

June 29: -- I went to hear W. H. Parson of Waco speak. He is Aide to the Governor and preparing companies to go into camps on instruction on the 15th of next month. I was appointed one of the committee to purchase clothing and camp equipment for the volunteers who are going to drill 40 days. We have purchased 100 coats, 200 shirts, 200 pants.

July 4: -- We spent most of the day at the church in company with more than 40 ladies, preparing tents and soldiers' clothes.

July 6: -- Finished soldiers' outfit. Ladies turned out well to help. More than fifty came, some of them for five days.

July 9: -- Tuesday -- Capt. Winkler's Company, The Navarro Rifles, left this afternoon for the camp of instruction at Waco. The next morning at sun-up I took Lieut. Loughride in my buggy and drove 7 miles where we overtook his men who had camped last night at Jones tank.

Friday, July 19: -- I went out to see Gen. Henry Jones muster his cavalry near Pugh's tank. The following day the public was invited to a barbeque at Pugh's tank.

Aug 31: -- Have been gathering wild grapes. Made 65 gallons of wine. Wednesday night went to prayer meeting. One one (sic) else was there. House not lighted up. Professors of Religion everywhere cold as ice-bergs.

P. S. Mr. Jacob Eliot now 58 years old is a deacon. Also a church clerk in the Baptist Church of Corsicana. He became a Baptist in Aug. 1832, at Louisville, Ky. Mr. and Mrs. Eliot attended some church every Sunday and write in his day book the name of the preacher and what chapter and verse in the Bible the preacher used to speak on.

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1861: -- Today is the date of assessment for the Confederate War tax, which is 50 cents on each $100 worth of property of all kinds. Capt. Maddox' Company camped in Corsicana last night. $15.00 Confederate Treasury note was paid by one of our own merchants, Michael and Bro. for the Articles of Wool, a contract was made for five time as much more.

Wednesday, Oct. 9: -- I went out to Pugh's tank where the volunteers of Co. F. Captain Melton are forming an encampment. Today a Mrs. Towers, a soldier's wife, called. She wanted meal. I gave her an order to mill for two bushels of meal.

Thursday, October 10th, 1861: -- Dr. F. M. Petty of Captain Melton's Company, was here. Also of Captain Maddox' Company in Parsen's Regiment are J. D. Jones, J. W. Friens, D. P. Burnett, R. Heathly, R. B. Bartlett, A. Black, A. R. Alford, L. R. Walker, J. M. Pate, F. M. Bartlett, who spent the night in Corsicana on their way from Camp Herbert in Collins County to Galveston.

Oct 15: -- A squad of Captain Love's spy company left here today for Galveston.

Oct. 19: -- I was appointed patroller and have to go on duty one time a week for next month. More than one half of our male population over 18 years old are off in the army, making it incumbent on old men to performthe work of young ones. Col. Walton and Mr. Evans acting Commissioners for Col. Locke's Eastern Texas Regiment, called and directed them to make their next Tuesday night camp at Pugh's Tank and march next day to Richland Creek for a temporary training camp for 2 or 3 weeks.

Oct 23: -- Today I met Col. Locke's Cavalry Regiment. The surgeon, Dr. Francis, Assistant Surgeon, Flint, went to encampment at Pugh's Tank. I was introduced to Adjutant Ransom, Capt. Ruckie, Lt. Brown, Lt. Bryan, Lt. Halbert, Quarter Master Winbray. At Pugh's Tank are 150 tents so pitched as to leave streets and alleys. All was a bustle preparing supper and feeding horses. Wrote to John Hunter to let regiment have 300 bushels of corn for which he might hold me responsible if the State failed and refused to pay him.

Tuesday, Oct 29: -- I attended a regimental drill with Col. Locke's Corp. Saw a sham fight. The performance was elegant. I took the quartermaster certificate for $100 forage furnished the State.

Wednesday, Oct. 30: -- Col. Locke's Regiment passed through Corsicana on their way North this morning. I gave Col. Locke a letter to give Capt. Robert Hodge. I sent Dr. McKie's boy, Caesar, to Springfield after camp wagon of of his master, Capt. Craig of Panola County, belongs to Locke's Regiment.

Nov. 2: -- I attended prayer meeting at the church. 4 men and 30 ladies attended. Object of meeting was to pray for the success of our cause in the present unnatural war with the Northern states.

Nov. 15: -- The proclamation of President Davis, setting apart this day as a day of fasting and prayer, dated Oct. 31, 1861, has been received. It is reported W. T. Harris died at his home last night. Harris was a private in Wilson's Company of Col. Locke's Cavalry Regiment. He will be buried in our town graveyard. Harris was married. They had one small child. S. H. Kerr, our Chief Justice, performed the funeral rights. No news for a week except for stage driver who reports the death of Col. B. F. Terry in a skirmish in Kentucky.

Sat. February 22: -- I attended a meeting at courthouse. The organization of a cavalry Company. D. B. McKie made Captain and W. A. Lockhart was made First Lieutenant.

Feb. 28, 1862: -- News received today of the fall of Ft. Donaldson after 3 or 4 days of hand fighting. It was 1200 Confederates against 70,000 Federals. Heavy losses on both sides.

March 1, 1862: -- Lieut. Lockhart received Bruton and McMurry Volunteers in Dr. D. B. Captain McKie's Cavalry Company. He and Col. M. A. Long made a speech at the courthouse encouraging volunteers.

March 5, '62: -- Col. M. A. Long was in Corsicana on Tuesday to see Captain W. P. Love of Robertson County, a member of Capt. A. F. Johnson's spy company, on detached service to muster men into the Confederte service.

March 10, '62: -- Attended a public meeting, called to provide for the families of absent soldiers and to prepre for other existing emergencies. I attended a public meeting called in consequence of the arrest of Maj. Darlin and five others. Suspeced of Disloyality. All of them took the oath of Allegiance to the C.S.A. Three of them were sequestered volunteers in the army. The Major Darlin was acquiteted as a dangerous person, although he had made some bad remarks of a disloyal character. Next day, I went with J. W. Stewart to home of Thomas White to see the boys about volunteering in the army.

March 15, 1862: -- I was appointed one of three on a committee to receive and transmit reports to the precinct committee in the case of taking care of the families of absent soldiers. Rev. Bayless, a Baptist preacher of Corsicana, left today for Tennessee, where he will join the army.

March 19: -- Dr. McKie's Cavalry Company went into camp two miles north of Corsicana.  Let J. H. New have my rifle in exchange for a shot gun for Wm. White to go to the war.  Just received news of death of Gen. Ben McCullough n a three day battle in Arkansas, near the Missouri Line.

Mar. 23: -- Dr. B. D. McKie's Company left camp today for Kaufman County.  Mr. and Mrs. South came by on their way to Van Done's Army.

March 28: -- Capt. Tyas's Company from Limestone County passed through Corsicana today on their way to join the Johnson Brigade.  Volunteers are passing through Corsicana daily.

Sat. March 29: -- A colored man belonging to Mrs. Stokes of Ellis County came through Corsicana last night.  He had a pass to Fairfield and back home.  A good number of volunteers passed through town on their way to Arkansas.  Corsicana is very dull and lonesome.  Nearly all the men gone to the army.

Monday, Apr. 7: -- Election returns for Corsicana: District Judge, R. W. Scott; 42; Alexander Beaton, 25; Matrie, 12; David, 3; Walker, 1; Perry, 1; - a total of 84 votes polled.  Talked to W. F. Woodward at tea.  Tomorrow he returns back to join the first Texas Regiment in Virginia, being a member of Capt. Bass' Company, most of whom are from Harrison County. --

April 16, 1862: -- Today, I gave list of my taxable property to the State and to the Confederate Government.  J. M. riggs assessed for Confederate States and Dan Donaldson assessed for the State Government.  J. Michael just reached home from New Orleans bringing news of a great battle fought at Corinth, Miss. and a Confederate victory.  The battle fought near Shilo - there were 100 cannons, 1500 stand-of-gun and 6,000 prisoners taken.  Our loss was heavy.  General Johnson was killed in this battle.

Apr. 22: -- Took a lease of Rebecca Towers for a place two miles north of Corsicana where Bob Caruthers lived.  Mrs. Towers is the widow of a soldier who died last year in Virginia.  I charged her ten cents a month rent,  -- never to be paid.

April 25, '62 - Wednesday: -- I sent my wagon to Barry Mill with twenty bushels of corn, seven bushels for Mrs. Towers, just mentioned yesterday.  Mr. Bevers of Freestone County, asked to let him put 25 horses into my pasture for some volunteers of Nelson's regiment.

May 2, 1862: -- I went with Mr. Croft to Camp Bass on Rush Creek.  There I met Major Broughton, Col. Bass, Dr. Welch, the surgeon, and several other members of the Regiment.  From there I spent the night at C. K. Walkins.  The following day we attended the monthly meeting of Rush Creek Church, then ate dinner with the Persons.

May 29: -- Today I paid my Confederate tax of $261.18 to D. B. Smith.

Sunday, June 8, '62: -- Major John Henry Brown, Adjutant General of General Henry McCullough, Col. E. C. Sterling, Capt. Pitts, Mr. Robard and Julius Brown of General McCullough's staff called this morning.  They sampled some of my wine.  They are on their way North.

June 15: -- Mr. Brown, a youth only 17 years old, came home today.  He is a member of Keysus Company in Parson's Regiment.  He was in the Battle of Searcy, in which his horse was killed in action.  He is home to get another horse.  He is the son of Judge David Brown of Navarro County.


June 25, '62: -- I sent to Dresden to purchase four pair of negro shoes which have wooden bottoms.  Paid 20 dollars for them.

June 30: -- The Provost Marshall sent 8 horses to be placed in my pasture.  They belong to suspected persons he has arrested.

July 3: -- I had my hands (slaves) to build a trough on the farm to tan leather in -- also I wrote a pass for Caesar (who is Dr. McKie's boy) to go to Tyler, Texas to get his master ...

July 13: Sunday -- Just heard of the probable defeat of McLellan and the death of our townsman, Captain Winkler, in a great battle near Richmond which was fought on the 28th and 29th of June.

July 18: -- On a business trip to Tyler, Texas, where three regiments of infantry were camped.  I was introduced to Gen H. H. McCullough.  At camp, McCullough and I talked with Capt. Hambrick, Capt. McKie*, Capt. Martin*, Lieut. Wheeler and heard the Chaplain of Bass Regiment preach on Sunday, July 20. **Captains McKie and Martin are from Navarro County.

July 31, 1862: -- I spent part of last night with E. M. Burrow looking for a run-away negro.  Also sent an advertisement to newspaper for D. B. McKie's run-away.

August 3: -- Gov. F. R. Lubback  and Mr. West, Secretary of State, came by to see me.  I gave them two bottles of wine and I accepted one of their bottles of blackberry cordial, made by Mrs. Lubback.  I took a sick soldier over to Wm. Robert's house.  I promised to pay one dollar per day for taking care of him.  Made a two dollar down payment.

August 5: -- I went to hear Lieut. J. R. Lockridge speak.  He is in Fourth Texas Regiment.  He was wounded in the arm during a battle in which one was killed and 28 wounded.  Lockridge is home until his arm gets well. {Note: Lieut. Lockridge (Loughridge in Mrs. Love's History of Navarro County) was a member of Navarro Rifles, with C. M. Winkler, Captian}

August 6: -- Caesar, colored boy of Dr.  B. D. McKie, who ran away, came home today.

August 15: -- I have just paid C. S. South $1.50 for one month's work, commencing February 4, 1862.  At the end of the month he commenced going to school.  The term of school being ended, he now leaves as teacher in a private family.  He has not been charged anything and I hope will make good use of what he has learned.  I had never seen him until he came here, but I knew his father in Kentucky.

August 23: -- The soldier that became sick and sent to Robert's house, then to the Hay's house, was sent to his home in Washington County.

August 29: -- I drove to Lancaster, Texas, stayed six hours.  Looked at pistol factory, carding machines and made some purchases in stoves.

Sept. 1, '62: -- I bought 1930 and 640 acres of land at the Confederate State Tax sale.  H. R. or Wm. Gilbert, head of Rush Creek.  (H.R. means Hear Right. Wm. Gilbert received 1920 acres and  640 acres.  Received land patent on July 30, '58.)  I have bought several trakcs of land at the Confederate State Tax Sale.  I have deposited $2,000 in A. Michael's safe for safe keeping of Confederate State money.  It is in an envelope with my name written across the seal.  Also put $400 in M. Michael's safe in a brown paper in State Treasury warrents.  News reached here of a victory of our army on the plains Manassas in Kentucky.  Also a victory at Springfield, Missouri, and victory in Tennessee.

Saturday, September 13, 1862: -- Just paid the shoe maker $1.50 for making me a pair of shoes.

September 17: -- Mr. E. E. Byrd sent me a bay horse at $200.  Just received a letter from Elder H. R. Puryear.  His son states Elder Reaves J. Teas, would be here next Thursday to commence a protracted meeting.  {Some of the "day by day" events in this diary, kept by Joseph Eliot, a prominent lawyer of Corsicana, we include events not bearing on the Civil War days.  This is to show living conditions in Navarro County 100 years ago, during the Civil War}

Sept 20: -- I am 59 years old today.  Received warning that there was a good deal of counterfeit Confederate money afloat.  So far, I have none of it.  Just paid D. B. Smith $95.90 for land bought of him at the war tax sale.  To-wit: from J. O'Daniel, 1476 acres, $19.71; Wm. Gilbert, 1920 acres for $25.06; Wm. Gilbert 640 acres for $9.68; M. Autry, 516 acres for $8.19; Jos Boyles, 1476 acres for $19.76.  John H. Yerby, 960 acres for $13.52.  Total number of acres - 6,988 acres bough for $95.90.  Our revival services over 19 days of preaching.  Sixty white and twenty negroes converted.  Preaching at courthouse, fourteen were baptised as Baptists by Rev. Puryear.  The preaching was done by Rev.  Puryear, Rev. Eaves, Rev. Teas, Rev. Sanford, Rev. Leake, Rev Thomas, Rev. Smith, Rev. W B. Eaves lives at Marlin.  Rev. Puryear lives at Richland; Rev. Leake and Rev. Smith are from Ellis County.  Rev. Modrell of Corsicana.

Thursday, Jan. 8, 1863: -- News just reached Corsicana of the capture of Galveston and the Yankees fleet, 600 prisoners and large army stores.... News that Gen. McGruder has issued a proclamation invited all nations to trade at the port of Galveston...that his forces had raised the blockade of that port on the12th of this month.

Sat. January 17, 1863 -- Just paid $150 to Finis Dunn for a horse.  The horse was for R. S. Leach to use in Capt. McKie's Ranger Company, now in Missouri.  The following persons paid for: I paid $35. - W. B. Pillos paid $30; Wm Croft paid $10; Alexander Michael - $10; Henry Jones - $10; Thomas Kellum, Thos. D. Van Hook, Soloma Van Hook, W. W. McPhials, Tho. H. Patterson, C. L. Jaureagan, Edwin Garlie, Merit Drane, R. N. White, the sum of $5. each, which made one hundred and fifty dollars.

January 23: -- News came today of a battle near Van Buren, Missouri, between a foraging party of 40 Federals and 32 men of Capt. McKie's Squadron in which six Federals were killed and three wounded.  The others captured along with seven wagons and forty nine mules.  The Confederates had two killed and three wounded.  Capt. McKie received a severe wound, perhaps a dangerous wound.  The fight took place in a corn field and lasted thirty minutes.  We had five horses killed and three wounded.  This battle was fought on Dec. 28th.  This is a letter written home by Lt. Wheeler.

Jan. 29: -- News of capture of Yankee vessels at Sabine Pass and stores - worth a million, also of the sinking of the S. C. by 290 ...

February 9, 1863: Monday -- W. S. Col. Long of Corsicana left today.  I promised to attend to some business for him, among other things to sell two slaves the fist Tuesday in March.  I wrote to Capt. Hodge about it.

Feb. 20: -- Attended funeral of Asa Howell.  He has two sons in the Army Rangers in Capt. McKie's Comapny; Isaac Parker of Tarrant County, 70 years of age, and a private in Col. Stone's Regiment, came by to see me on his way home... I gave Capt. Robt. Hodge an advertisement to put up at Chatfield, for the sale of negroes.  C. S. property on first Tuesday in April ...

March 12, 1863; -- Capt McKie reached home today to receive treatment of a wound, mentioned before on January 23.

March 21, '63: -- Saturday -- I have just attended the monthly meeting of the Corsicana Baptist Church of which I am the Church Clerk.

April 7, 63: -- Tuesday: -- Today I sold a negro woman and child for C.S.A. (Confederate States America) at $2660.  Mr. H. C. Moss was the purchaser.

April 8, 1863: -- Just paid $30 to H. Brown and $5. to A. Duren for the expense on the sale of negro woman and child, and $100. for my own services as a lawyer.  I now have $2525 net proceeds of sale of negro woman and child.  In my own charge is included some other services.  I do not intend to make any bill for.  Just paid eight cents per pound for beef steak.  This is the highest I have ever paid in Texas.

Friday, May 1, '63: -- Rode out to fair grounds and saw the Queen of May Day Coronation.  There were a show of beauty and an assembly of more than two hundred persons.  My four grandchildren left today.  Their mothers (my daughters) having returned from Rush Creek where they had gone in company with their husbands who were returning to the army.

Tuesday, June 23, '63: -- Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Day came in today.  I sold him 320 acres of land for a negro woman and child for Mr. H. P. Walker.

June 24: -- I took a negro man, named Jackson, from Mr. Day, at $3200 and became paymaster to H. P. Walker.  $3000. instead of taking the woman and child, mentioned above...

June 25: -- Lieut. Wheeler just in from Gaines Landing.  He gives a favorable account of our officers who are around about Vicksburg.

July 5: -- I have just written a Bill-of-Sale for a negro woman I bought from Mr. Day for $3000.

July 7: -- I went over to Chatfield to attend a four day revival meeting.  Saw twenty four persons baptised by Elder H. R. Puryear, Baptist.  Attended also the celebration of the Lord's Supper.  I was a guest at the home of Capt. Robert Hodge.  Rumors of awful fighting at Vicksburg.

July 16: -- Rumors are that Vicksburg fell into the hands of our enemies on the fourth day of July.  A rumor which I do not wish to believe. {The Battle of Gettsyburg lasted two days, 3rd and 4th of July, 1863, from which the South could not recover. -- Yest the war goes on.}

July 20, Monday: -- Aline, a negro girl I bought from Theo. H. Patterson, became sick a few days past.  She died today.  On the 17th of next November, she would of been fifteen years old.   Dr. Love attended.  Mr. Burager made the coffin for Aline.  A large number of negroes attended.  They sang and prayed at the grave in an intelligent and appropriate manner.

August 10:  -- News just reached here of the death of Capt. Molloy, who was acting Major of Bass Regiment.  Killed in battle.  Capt. C. C. Davenport has left with me $2000. to purchase supplies money put in Michael's safe.

Sept. 9: -- I have just paid the Assessor my occupation tax (Lawyer's), which is $50. not because I desire to engage in practice, but because I have a license and I do not like to serve or juries...

Sept. 21: -- Capt. Davenport with a larger force, near 100 persons, mostly negroes, reached here yesterday going to the place I told him about on Richland Creek....

October 9: -- I have just hired a negro man and woman of William Hunter at $45. per month until next October.  I paid $300. in advance.

Nov 3 '63: -- Capt. McKie was forced to return home from the army.  The reason - bad health.

Dec. 7: -- Just give in to J. M. Rigg's, the negro enrolling officer, three negroes between the ages of 16 to 40, and informed him more than my quota was already in Government service.

Dec. 9: -- Collected 10 bushels corn.  Sent to Captain Savage' Company, Texas Cavalry.

Dec. 10: -- William Lindsey, James Adamson, Billingsly Taylor, members of Captain S. Savage Company, arrived in Corsicana.

Dec 26: -- Well never saw a drunk man in Corsicana during the Christmas Day.  There was no whiskey to be had -- one effect of the war.

Dec. 29: -- Lieut. L. Hewett was in Corsicana last night on his way home in Kaufman County.  His health unfit for further military service, caused from exposure in the army of Virginia.

Jan. 13, '64: -- I killed ten hogs today.  Total weitht 1700 pounds.  We are to send 2000 pounds to the government.

Jan 14, '64:  -- Today we salted down the pork in large tubs.  It was very difficult to save bacon with the salt made at our Saline.

Jan. 18, Monday: -- Today my workers are cutting timber to make barrel.  They made and delivered to John Gibson twenty six barrels.

Jan. 21: -- I delivered ten barrels of lard to the Government Agent.

Jan. 22: -- Workers made ten barrels to put flour in.

Jan. 24, Sunday: -- Rev. J. Leake, our pastor of Baptist Church, will serve another year.  Salary $100. which was paid today.

Feb. 10: -- Col. Riggs called.  I paid him 4 1/2 bushels of wheat, 5 bushels of oats.  This is my tithe tax for year.

March 16: -- I sent $2000. cash by Coloman Greenwell to Louisiana to purchase a negro.

March 22: -- Put two of my hands (slaves) in shop to make cedar wash tubs.

Apr. 21, '64: -- I drove out to Mrs. Goffes, paid her $4,000  for a negro girl and $60.  for hauling with ox-wagon's. {note: Confederate money used. Not worth much.  Mrs. Gaffes lives at Richland}

May 21, Saturday: -- We stayed at Forest's last night.  Our bill was $25.  It was for myself, daughter, the servant and two mules for one day... We carried to Forest in Ellis County, wool to the carding machine run by Bell and Ramsey.  They will card and grind for us.

May 23: -- Mrs. J. Howell's husband was killed by a cannon shot.  He was in Parson's Brigade.

June 13: -- I gave Mrs. Jas Howell $100.  Her husband was killed in the battle near Alexandria.  This was the first killed in McKie's Company.

July 5: -- Rode over to Waco in company with Major Isaac's.  Dined with Rev. R. Burleson.  On way home spent the night with Bret Dawson.

Aug. 14: -- Rumors reached here that Atlanta has fallen, and that our men met with disaster.  Bought 55 sheep from Britt Dawson, killed one to eat, sent 570 pounds of corn and will pay balance on sheep soon.  Paid $40. for sheep shears.

Sept. 22, Thursday: -- The report of the death of Major J. H. Morgan has been received today.  I just paid $200. to the soldiers' fund.  I have taken charge of a negro boy that was stolen in Arkansas.  The thieves are in jail.

Sept 25, Sunday: -- We attended church.  Preaching by Rev. I. Taylor.  After dinner attended the baptism.  Saw  negroes put under the water by a black minister.  Then listened to a lecture by Rev. Taylor.

Oct. 10: -- Col. J. Fowler came over so I gave him my list of taxable property.

Oct. 20: -- Paid Beaton $15. tax.

Oct 24: -- The Quartermaster and Commissioners are in town today.  Corsicana being made a depot of Government suppliers...

Nov. 4: -- I rented part of storehouse I purchased from Mr. Michael to Capt. C. Johnson, the Quartermaster in the Confederate States Army.

Nov. 5: -- There has been no money transaction for several days because the Confederate money of the old issue is refused in most transactions...

Nov. 10: -- Took from Capt. T. J. Haynes, the Quartermaster, a receipt of $1080...$420 of which belongs to me.  The balance belongs to Mrs. Pittman, this being for beef purchased of her by him for the Government supplies.

Nov. 12: -- Capt. Love came today.  I returned to him $1800. left with me to be exchanged into the new issue.  Also sent with him $1800. more to be exchanged at Fairfield.

Nov. 23: -- I gave Capt. Love $200. to take to Fairfield to exchange for the new issue Confederate money...

Dec. 1: -- I bought from S. J. Brandon, 1249 pounds of salt.  I paid him $312. in the new issue of Confederate money.

Dec. 3: -- I have just counted and labeled $1700. Confederate money (old issue) $14 -- $100... 7.30 notes $310 (new issue) and $400 State Warrants....

Dec. 16: one year ago President Davis set aside this day for fasting and prayer.  Today Gen. E. K. Smith has set apart today for same purpose.  Also observed by the Baptist State Convention of Texas.

Dec 17: -- I exchanged with B. D. M. $430. new issue Confederate money for $1290 in the old issue.  Today sold my buggy horse to R. A. Van Horn for $700. in new Confederate issue.

Dec. 21: -- I sent $1970 to Fairfield by Capt. Love to be exchanged for new issue in Confederate money.  The exchange is three old issues for one new issue.

Jan. 8, 1865: -- Reading from Houston newspaper of January 4 army news - good.

March 30: -- I have agreed to send 300 oak pickets to fence in Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  I delivered pickets for fence for front and rear of Corsicana Baptist Church.  Proposed to the County Court to take charge of the soldiers house of this county...

Apr. 7: -- They listed my property for taxation at $50,000.

Apr. 17: -- Rented to the Quarter Master, room from Col. Mill's an office at $30 per month.

Apr. 30: -- News reached Corsicana of assassination of A. Lincoln

May 16: -- Mr. J. Kerr and two soldiers of Shelby's Brigade were in Corsicana today.  Helped in surgical operation on J. Dublin, a wounded soldier who was put under influence of chloroform by Dr. Stewart.  War reports very sad...

May 19: -- Mr. S. Williams reports that the Trans-Mississippi Department has surrendered upon the same terms of Lee and Johnson and that the Southern States are to go back into the Union with all their rights guaranteed.  The past has been gloomy.  The future promises nothing better.

May 21: -- Bad news coming in.  The disbanding of Parson's Cavalry Brigade.  Many discouraging reports.  Many disbanded soldiers passing through Corsicana.

May 24: --  Judge Terrell made a speech today.  He called for volunteers to go to Mexico.  Our armies are all disbanded and in much confusion.  They are still at the mercy of the Federals.  God only knows what is to be our fate.  As for me, I will remain here what ever befalls me.  I could not sleep last night.

May 27, '65: -- Had a talk with Maj. General Jo Shelby also met Elijah Dowel, whom I knew back in Kentucky.  He is now commissary in Jackman's Brigade of Shelby's Division.  Also drove out to Shelby's camp on Chambers Creek and met Col. Jackman, Gordon Elliott, and several officers. {Note: General Shelby's Camp was on Chambers Creek on road to Chatfield}  Gen. Shelby had a wound on right arm that he received in the Battle of Elkhorn.  Also met Col. Slayback at the camp.

May 29, Monday: -- Just received a letter from R. P. Harris, a private, in Gen. Shelby's Brigade, asking for a horse to supply one lost.  I have arranged for him to get one...

June 1, Thursday, 1865: -- Some soldiers took my ox wagon and drover.  They threw off the load of rails on wagon and made the boy haul them four miles... and addressed to me a note that on account of being tired, they had pressed my team to ride a few miles.  Lieut. Anderson, last night brought a Government wagon into my lot for his own use and to keep some other soldiers.  Thus taking private and public property.  True they are without pay and may think they have the right -- I will not touch a thing although the Government owes me for rent more than a $1000.... Went to see Major Beaton concerning same.

June 2: -- This morning before I got out, a soldier named Smith brought to one of negroes, some wagon harness of poor quality.  I need harness for two work mules.  I gave the soldier $20. in paper for the harness and a pair of coarse boots, which he said fell as his share in the division of some public property.  I expect to pay for them to the U. S. Government and hence make this known. Gen. Sydney D. Jackson and Col. Benjamin Eliot of Shelby's Division now an their way to Old Mexico. {Note: After Gen. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, and the Civil War was over, many soldiers were enlisted in Gen. Shelby's army to march to Old Mexico to fight.  Shelby's Camp was at Chambers Creek on the road to Chatfield}

June 8: -- I contributed to a fund to have the mail delivered to our city.  All the contractors having ceased to bring any mail.

June 13: -- Received the Houston paper today.  No good new in it.

July 6, '65: -- Word received that Lieut. Gen. Grant has issued a proclamation, calling on all parties to establish the Union as it existed before the war.

Aug. 18: -- I have built a sugar mill for Corsicana

Aug. 21: -- Maj. Page had dinner with me today on his way home.  Paid Mr. Key $2. for bringing the mail from Milford.

Aug. 24: I have my workers seeding and drying peaches today.  Tomorrow they make a wagon.

Aug. 28, Monday: -- I had a pleasant meeting with Col. Robert Q. Mills today.

Sept. 1, '65: -- I called on Judge Walker and took the oath of allegiance to U. S. Government before S. Wright, Chief Justice of Navarro County.  Rented my storeroom to Jamison for $50 a month.

Sept. 9: -- A negro woman and her five children, the wife of Negro Jo -- they belong to Theo Medor, came to my ranch two days ago.  What to do with them, I do not know.  Should this master consent, I would care but little, ... two negro boys left last night for parts unknown and it will afford me pleasure if some others who are feuding will do likewise.  There is very little work in free American citizen of African descent....

Oct. 2: -- My negro, bill Lamar, ran off last night.  Sent a wagon to Melton's gin with load of wool to exchange for meal... {the value of money uncertain so the exchange is in merchandise, gold or silver useable....}

October 8, Sunday: - We drove over to Dresden to hear Elder Coopers preach.

Oct. 19: -- About 8 o'clock this morning, there was an eclipse on the sun.  Looked something like this (pic).  The almanac in town made no mention of it.

Oct. 23: -- I took oath and had my name entered on the docket of the Navarro District Court as an attorney-at-law, before Judge O. A. Evarts of the 13th Judicial {Note: wonder if Judge G. A. Evarts is a Yankie?}

Oct. 28: -- Met Walter W. Leake, who was with 6th Texas Cavalry.  He has been in service over three years and has participated in 82 battles.  Was a prisoner at Camp Chase.  His father is a Baptist minister in this county.  I have sent off a negro woman for her insolence.

Nov. 7: -- I procured license for Joe McCullough and Charlie Thomas, two old freedmen - to get married to their wives.  They had lived with them many years and had raised large families.

Nov. 19, 1865: - I loaned my tank to the Cumberland Presbyterians to immerse on of their converts.  Rev. Modrell performed the Ordinance.  Just sent lot of wool to office in store room No. 3 in brick building up town... wore a new suit made entirely by my wife here at home.... purchased a new hat from Riggs & Oaks, Corsicana.

Wednesday, November 29, 1865: -- I have engaged Jessie Walton to clean my storehouse for Jamerson & Bowles.  I told him they would employ him as a clerk in the store.  I now have rented from Col. Roger Q. Mills, Office No. 1 in the brick building, at $8. per month.

Dec. 15: -- Judge Evarts came by my office. -- Gave me Power of Attorney.

Dec. 21: -- I sold to Drane & Mays for Robert M. Russel of La Grange, Texas, 276 pounds of brown sugar at 15 cents a pound.  $408.90, my commission was $40.89.  The storage is $3.00.  Charlie Jester called to see me today.  Rev. Isaac Taylor will be preaching for the Baptist every fifth Sunday.

Dec. 25: -- Christmas Day.  After dark we went over to Mr. Garhooks and spent two hours in seeing Mrs. Laura Brown and  the Mrs. Kerr distribute gifts to some of her school children from a Christmas tree.   My grandchildren got their share.

Jan. 22, 1866: -- Traded with Jamison & Boyles, 87 pounds of cotton worth 20 cents a pound for 100 pounds of flour worth 6 cents a pound.

Feb. 7: Mary, a colored woman, came to night to work at $4.00 per month.

March 4: -- I saw Mr. Bates today.  He is the Mail Agent.  He says tri-weekly, they will start immediately to carry the mail from Anderson to Corsicana.  We have been without mail service for near twelve months.

March 7,  1866: -- We just received a letter from Major B. D. McKie.  It was brought to us by Col. C. M. Winkler ...

March 16: -- I wrote a letter to Dr. B. D. McKie and sent the letter by Col. C. M.  Winkler.  Gave $1.00 to pay for stamps.

March 22: -- Patsy, the last one of our old family negroes, left last night.  It now remains to be seen whether I will be the loser or the gainer, by the change ... of the situation.

March 26: -- Polly and her children came to live with us last Saturday.  She formerly was a servant of W. W. McPhail's.

May 2: -- Dr. McKie got in at 1 o'clock from Capt. Love's.  He attended the marriage of Theo. H. Patterson to Sarah Westmoreland by Parson Bone....

April 26, 1866: Thursday -- I have just received a letter from S. K. Eliot. (  ) of Tarrant County.  The letter was mailed from Shreveport, La. in April.  He is on his way from California to his home, having been gone since 1862.  He was in the army and as a prisoner of war, part of the time.

May 5: -- I have just rented to J. M. Eliot, one of my brick rooms for the County Surveyor's office.

May 8, 1866: -- I loaned Drane & Mays $150 in gold for a few days.

May 10: -- Rode out to my wheat field.  Cut and bound some grain with my own hand.  I can swing a cradle quite well and can bind the bundle over my thumb, which is the only way to tie up grain. {Note: the cradle mentioned is attached to scythe to catch the grain when cut}

May 17, 1866: -- I attended a public meeting and subscribed $500. stock in a joint stock company to build a school house for a high school in Corsicana.

May 27, 1866: Sunday -- I went over to Mr. Ezel's house to get key for the meeting house.  On account of rain and high water on Chambers Creek, Rev. Josiah Leake, our preacher, could not get across.  In his absence, Parson Neal preached.  He is a hard shell Baptist. {Parson preached from the last chapter of Mark.}

May 31: -- I rode out to the farm where the workers are laying-by the corn.  Then I will loan Jo. Freeman my sharpshooter. {Note: the word 'laying-by' means finish work.  Sharp shooter is a type of plow}

June 1: -- Eliza Moore, an orphan girl, who has been here since July 10th of last year, left today to make her home with my daughter, Mrs. Lu Walker.  I am her guardian and intend to see she has needful protection.  I hope to secure her a little property.

June 10: -- We are eating two meals a day.  One at 9: A.M. and one at 4 P.M.  By this means, we manage to get our cooking done by free negroes.

July 2: -- A negro woman named Cynthicana and her daughter, Jenny, came from Kaufman looking for work.  Perhaps we may employ them.

July 8, Sunday: -- I ws present when Roger Q. Mills and his wife and Capt. J. L. Halbert were baptized in my farm tank, by a Methodist minister, Rev. Littlepage.  Changed to dry clothes at my home.

July 10: Tuesday: -- I have just learned my neighbors, Howell and Oaks, who are on a cattle drive to market, have two of my beeves with cattle branding JE among their herd.  For these two, they are to pay me $27. each when they return home.

July 22, Sunday: -- I attended the negro meeting and heard Bro. Lee preach.  His text was Matthew 25: Verse 13.  I assisted in the organization of a colored church for Corsicana.

July 25: -- I drove out to my ranch today.  Mr. Spence, the clerk of Navarro County, was with me.  Received a document from him -to-wit - a license to marry for John Charles Norris and Miss Mary Ann Ganol, a young lady who has been an inmate of my family for quite some time. -- The young men seem to have a liking for every young woman who lives at my house.  My own three daughters included, all married young.  Elder Leake, pastor of Baptist Church performed the wedding ceremony, after which we served the guests apples, peaches and figs on the table at supper.

August 4: -- A colored woman named Lucy and her boy came and offered to work -- she for $4 and the boy for $3 per month.  Also Emily with one child has been here two or three weeks.  Also Andrew Graves for three weeks - both are willing to stay and work for their food and clothing.

August 15: -- I sent Lucy, the colored girl, to stay with Mrs. Walker.

August 19: -- "Pa has a severe headach," writes Lu, the second daughter of Mr. Eliot in the daily diary kept by Jacob Eliot since 1861 -- Mrs.Lu Walker keeps the record until Monday, October 8, 1866, when her daddy was well enough to continue his diary ---

October 9, 1866: -- John L. Miller, Judge came by to write a contract for me.  I am leasing the Davenport place to Mr. McBray for five years --

Oct. 15: -- Today we vote, so I rode up town to the court house door and voted for Roger Q. Millsfor Congressman, the officers coming to my buggy to receive my ticket.

Oct. 16: -- Mr. Harris and Miss Myrel Johnson left for Limestone County, the residence of Dr. D. B. McKie.  Miss Johnson, a guest there as private teacher, in his family.  I regard her as an excellent young lady, possessing genuine piety in an eminent degree.  Eliza Moore also went to reside with Mrs. McKie for the future.  She is a poor unfortunate orphan without friends.  She has been near for eighteen months.  Where she goes now, she will receive instruction with Dr. McKie's children.  Her age is unknown to herself.  She perhaps is about 15 years old.  She is large and healthy.

November 13: Tuesday: -- I had a slight chill today so I called for Dr. Mills.  He gave me some quinine.  The attack was light.  I asked him how much I owed him for medicine and trip out.  His charge was $1.00.

Nov. 20: -- Booker moved his family in to my cabin.  His rent is to be $4 per month, starting back on Nov. 1st at which time he took my mule team and wagon.  For five days of each week he is to have one half of its earnings, one day is all mine for feeding the mules.  Book to feed himself.  -- After dinner, I drove over to see Mr. Rakestraws on business.

Dec. 6: -- I rented office #2 in the brick building to Col C. M. WInkler at $75 per year.  Room #3, to Dan Donaldson, a printing office at $100. per year.  Room #1, I rented to R. Q. Mills & J. L. Halbert - Lawyers - at $150 per year.  All rent to be paid quarterly.  These are office rooms above the store room which I rent to E. Drane & Co. for $600. per year.

Dec. 11, 1866: -- I had the boys to haul six wagon loads of cotton to Drane's movable gin.  It is set up near the public square at Courthouse, where they will gin my cotton.

Dec. 21: -- I went by the photograph rooms - met Mr. M. C. Moore.  I tried to get him to settle a claim of B. D. McKie's.

Dec. 24: -- Eliza, a negro woman, who came here to work for her food had her baby born in our kitchen.  She was formerly the slave of W. A. Hoard.  She has no means of support.

Dec. 31: -- I have kept this diary for six years, all through the dreadful war between the North and South.  Some of my relatives were on each side.  One time by son-in-law captured my nephew.  Now this will close the Day-by-Day Journal that I have kept.

s/ Jacob Eliot 1866


Permission is given Alva Taylor of Corsicana, to use any or all of the above, a part of diary kept by Jacob Eliot from 1861 to 1866.  The same to be used by the Historical Society of Navarro County.  February 12, 1964.  s/ Mrs. William J. McKie.

Note: Published in the Navarro County Scrollfor the year 1965.  Used at the website with permission of the Navarro County Historical Society.  All rights reserved.

Note, added Feb 22, 2001:elw: Navarro County Cemetery Records; Volume IX - Oakwood Part 1; pg 4 (Section A)
Col. Jacob Eliot, d. in Galveston 11 Dec 1870, Age 67 yrs 3 mos 22 days
Wm. Junius Eliot Our Brother d. 24 April 1856 Aged 20 yrs
Lucinda Mays Eliot d. 18 July 1880 Aged 40 yrs
Mrs. Rozana Eliot Croft d. 4 Feb 1852 Age 18 yrs 1 mo & 4 days - Our Sister
Mrs. Ann Geddez, second wife of Col J. Eliot d. 22 Jul 1880 Aged 65 years


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Copyright 2001 Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox