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Chemung County NY
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1865- Evelina Jane Green of Elmira NY
Diary excerpts  of Evelina Jane Green
Elmira, Chemung County NY
Year: 1865
Transcribed by Richard Edgerton (reco@imt.net)
Evelina Jane Green was 19 years of age when she enrolled in the Elmira Academy. She wrote:

"Commenced going yo school after not having been in school for three years. It seems some what strange to be in school and study, though I have not got used to studying much yet but hope to before long. Sometimes I feel almost discouraged and inclined to give up going to school.

Then when I stop and think what a foolish, ignorant being I am and of no use now. I think I will keep on going to school and try and see if I cannot learn to know something and be of use."

Eva kept a diary during these years spanning the period of the Civil War. In it she makes entries of her schooling, religious experiences, courtship by her future spouse and friendships and happenings in and around Elmira . The folk of the community well knew the events of the war. Eva, herself, writes of "bakes for our soldiers" and how she entertained the troops by playing on her melodeon.

That which follows are a few excerpts from her diary.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 1865

Today has been celebrated by us as being the birthday of Washington the father of our country and celebrated also for the capture of Ft. Sumpter. Salutes have been fired and our soldiers have made a grand procession through our streets. Tonight have been to a temperance meeting held in the 1st Baptist Church.

Saturday, March 18th

How many things have transpired since I last wrote to you my dear old diary book. Last Wednesday the snow being melted so much the water rushed down to the river which caused it to rise high then Thursday night we had a heavy night we had a heavy rain fall which still increased its height. Friday morning it was a grand but solemn sight to behold. It carried away parts of the Main and Lake Street bridges and the fence and tents from the rebel camp. The rushing waters came into the streets and cellars, tore up sidewalks, carried off several building in South Park and one large building by the railroad bridge. It was feared for a long time that the railroad bridge would go too but it seemed firmer than the other two and I believe it stands yet. One or two lives were lost and in all it was a solemn sight-in it we see the power and might of our Heavenly Father and though these things seem sad yet He knows best and noeth all things well how much we should fear and yet love Him.

Monday, April 2nd

What glorious news we had today. That Richmond that great city, the seat of the rebellion, is ours. How much rejoicing it has caused here today. The band has played some of their exquisite airs and cannons have boomed, bells rung and in the evening the rockets red glare were raised on high in the sky and speeches were made. It seems that our Heavenly Father has smiled on us and frowned on the rebellion, Oh! May the many ferverant prayers of God’s People be heard by "Him" and may He be pleased to bring the dreadful war to a speedy end.

Monday, April 10th

Another great victory has been won. Lee the great confederate general has surrendered with the remainder of his army and what rejoicing there has been today. The word was received last night. Sunday the bells rang and band played and all today and evening speeches were made and rockets were sent up and on the whole it was another great day of rejoicing.

Saturday, April 16th

What sad, sad news greets our ear as we awake on this Saturday morn for last night our beloved president (of the United States) Abram Lincoln while sitting at a theatre was shot by some malicious assassin (who after made his escape) through the head and thought to be a mortal wound and so it proved to be and what gloom and sadness pervades our land. Today the bells are tolling on account of it and even they seem to speak of sorrow. We all this week have been exultant over the recent victories that have been achieved and now how suddenly our joy is turned to sorrow. Oh! what a great lesson this should teach as how little we know what the future will present and how few of us have our lamps primed and burning ready any time for that great and last day to come. Perhaps our Heavenly Father sees that we were to exultant and worldly minded and has given us this great affliction that we might see how powerless we are without His aid. So help us and Oh! may I trust more in Him and less in myself. Wilt thou help me Father to think of these things.

Sunday, April 17th

Another Holy Sabbath day is upon us and under what different circumstances we are placed than last Sabbath. The public houses and private houses are all draped in mourning in respect to our beloved President. The churches too were trimmed and appropriate remarks were made by all the clergymen. Our Pastor Mr. Beecher spoke beautifully of the President and it was a very touching sermon to all. The house was crowded in the morning his prayer was "We trusted he would have redeemed Israel" and in the Eve it was "One Sinner destroyeth much good". It was a most excellent sermon.

Wednesday, April 19th

Today has been the funeral of our late President and what a mournful processional – was all the soldiers could be spared were out and marched through the streets followed by the hearse draped in deep mourning and six long black plumes, then eight pall bearers, then the clergymen and officers of the day, then citizens in carriages, then footmen, all made a very long procession. After marching through the streets they proceeded to the public square where the band played a funeral dirge and scripture read by Dr. Cowles and a very fervent prayer offered by our dear Pastor Mr. Beecher. Then an oration by Major Diven after that the doxology sung by the audience then a benediction by the Catholic priest. After that the multitude dispersed and each went to their several homes each to mourn by himself the dreadful death of our esteemed President. This day will long be remembered by this present generation.

Eva ws presented with this Bible in 1862 by Rev. Thomas Beecher of Park Church in Elmira. Rev. Beecher signed it.
Chemung County NY

Published On 18 SEP 2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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