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Covington History: Burge Plantation – Part 3


burgeThese last 2 weeks have covered Covington history through the diaries entries  of a one Mrs. Dolly Burge during the Civil War. If you have missed them Part 1 and Part 2 tell the beginnings of the Diary entries.  For those on track, the Diary now enters into the hardest times for Mrs. Burge during the Civil War and this time in Covington history.

On August 2, Dolly narrates a vision of Yankees in blue coats marching toward her.  They invade her home, and she politely makes them breakfast.  Still, she was not spared; the blue-coated men took three mules. She was grateful in saying it could have been worse.  She still sleeps uneasy.  November 8 was a revelation in Dolly’s diary: as many are saying slaves will have to be set free, she is quoted:

“I have never felt that slavery was altogether right, for it is abused by men, and I have often heard Mr. Burge say that if he could see that it was sinful for him to own slaves, if he felt that it was wrong, he would take them where he could free them.”

This revelation from Mrs. Burge is really something, especially for the time. She clearly valued her slaves, and thought of them fondly. This will also make what happens to her during the next few diary entries that much worse. In a diary entry dated November 18, 1864, talks of how her and her slaves were hiding valuable goods of hers away form the Yankee soldiers; in this she speaks of a tub of salt worth $100, which in 2013 would be worth $1,492.54 with inflation. Although, she wasn’t sure hiding valuables would be enough, ending the the entry saying, “I fear that we shall be homeless…”.

The next day would be one of the hardest days of Mrs. Burge’s life, as it is the day November 19, 1864 in Covington history that Yankees invaded her home and took all they could from her. Join in next week for the final installment of this tragic journey through Covington history for the heroic Mrs. Dolly Burge.

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