Melinda R., age unknown, North Carolina

Yesterday was appointed by our President Davis as a day of fasting & prayers on account of the distressed state of our country & the recent reverses with which we have such. The day was universally observed all business was suspended. Mr Sherwood preached from Isaiah 10th Chapter & 5th verse “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger & the staff in their hand is mine indignation.” He was assisted in the services by Mr James McNeill. The prayer meeting for the evening was very full. Dr Cooper made a prayer & a few remarks. Mr Sherwood thinks that we are becoming too much puffed up & that God has sent these reverses to remind us that we can do nothing without his help. We had a letter from Aunt Malinda Wednesday which contained the sad intelligence of the death of Cousin Henry. He & Cousins George & William had reenlisted in the Confederate service for three years and had returned home on a furlough. They had gone over to Cheraw to see their friends there & Saturday morning after breakfast Cousin Henry was taken sick with a congestive chill and died by seven o’clock at night. We have been suffering some severe reverses lately at Roanoke Island and Fort Donnelson in Tennessee. They can easily take Nashville if they have not done so already. One of the Murchison’s brothers now taken prisoner at Roanoke, but has been released on pardon. Lieut K Murchison was not in the fight. May & Ella spent the day Wednesday with us & it rained so hard they had to stay all night.

*(Diary: Melinda Ray, 1861-1865, North Carolina State Archives)