May 18th, 1862.S. H., Hanover County, Va. C. M. and myself set off yesterday morning for church. At my brother's gate we met Dr. N., who told us that there were rumours of the approach of the enemy from the White House. We then determined not to go to our own church, but in another direction, to the Presbyterian church. After waiting there until the hour for service had arrived, an elder came in and announced to us that the minister thought it prudent not to come, but to have the congregation dismissed at once, as the enemy were certainly approaching. We returned home in a most perturbed  state, and found that my husband had just arrived, with several of our sons and nephews, to spend a day or two with us. In a short time a servant announced that he had seen the Yankees that morning at the “Old Church.” Then there was no time to be lost; our gentlemen must go. We began our hurried preparations, and sent for the carriage and buggy. We were told that the driver had gone to the Yankees. After some discussion, one of the gentlemen determined to drive, and they were soon off. It was then eleven o'clock at night, and the blackness of darkness reigned over the earth. It was the most anxious night of my life. Surrounded by an implacable foe, our gentlemen all gone, we knew not how long we should be separated, or what might not happen before we met, and the want of confidence in our servants, which was now for the first time shaken, made us very nervous. This morning we went to W., and took leave of our sister, Mrs. C., and daughters. Her sons are in the army, and being a refugee, she says she must follow the army, and go where she can reach them if they are wounded. We found C. busily dividing her year's supply of bacon among the servants, that each may take care of his own. As the enemy never regards locks, she knows that her meat-house will be unsafe; we secreted two guns, which had been inadvertently left, and returned, feeling desolate, but thankful that our gentlemen were safely off.
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