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Covington History: Burge Plantation – Part 4


burge2Welcome to the last installment of the Covington history series about the Burge Plantation. Dolly Burge kept a journal in which she recounts her battle with Yankee soldiers and the fight to keep her home together during the Civil War. This final post will reveal what exactly was taken from her in the last run-in with Yankee soldiers during the Civil War. If you need to catch up, read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 first.

Dolly writes in a diary entry that she sees a friend, Jim Perry, having a confrontation with the Yankees, and flees to her home to protect what she can.  At the end of this day, Yankees had taken 1,000 pounds of meat from her smokehouse, 18 turkeys, her hens, chickens, butter, and lard, among other necessities. Despite these losses, Dolly writes that the biggest loss of the day was “my boys”, speaking of the slaves that were so close to her, who were to join the Yankees in the Civil War.  She speaks of a pair of pants that she made for a slave named Jack, and how he will never get to wear them. Fortunately for Mrs. Burge, a Captain Webber greets her at the door, claiming to know her brother; Dolly speculates this is the reason her house was spared of burning. While all of this destruction happened to her home because of the Civil War, Mrs. Burge had pleasant thoughts on the Yankees, stating, “I don’t believe they would have molested women and children had they had their way.”

Knowing that they were doing what they must do on orders; she knew she would be okay, even calling Captain Webber a friend. In the end, she lost $30,000, equal to $447,761.19 today, but came out a ‘much stronger rebel”, in her words. She closes the Diary by longing for her boys, and is quoted saying “fellow-suffering makes us all equal…” One of the last entries talks of her dear Sadai at Christmas, and knowing that happiness prevailed from the Civil War in Covington, and for Dolly.

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