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Rowe Descendant Tree Index of Names George Henry Clay Rowe

Journal of George Henry Clay Rowe
Table of Contents

Monday, August 18, 1862
After supper I started down to the yard for the purpose of taking some little exercise. On reaching the bottom of the first stair case, I was startled to see, at the other end of the narrow passage, a richly dressed and handsome young lady. Her appearance was so unexpected and so unaccountable I unconciously stopped, she bowed, and I returned the salutation. Then the gruff voice of the armed sentinal, who paced the passage in front of the room door, growled that no communication was permitted between prisoners on that floor. I returned upstairs, and related my adventures to some of the old prisoners from Fredericksburg. They informed me that the lady I had seen was Miss Belle Boyd of Martinsburg, VA., a female prisoner of war! My ideas of a government that could incarcerate such a woman, in such a place, and with such associations, may be imagined, but cannot be described. For be it known, that our floor was the only part of the prison where there was the least show of decency, either in the apartments or the character of those occupying them, and this lady was on one of the lower floors. I felt interested in her case, and went to the head of the stairs where I could see her without being seen. She had been here nearly a month and had become somewhat accustomed to the hardships of her situation which she bore with remarkable fortitude and was now swearing at, deriding, abusing and singing Southern songs to the sentinal. The fellow was forced by his orders from making reply to anything she said, nevertheless she kept up a continual and galling fire on the brute who seemed rejoiced when he was relieved at the expiration of his time. With the new sentinal Miss Boyd's manner changed. He was evidently good natured and she had evidently acquainted herself with his disposition previously. She spoke to him kindly and he replied in an undertone. In a few minutes a side door opened and the head of a young man cautiously peered out, Miss Boyd winked at the sentinal, he smiled, she gave the signal to her lover, for such the young man proved to be! He then advanced to the front of the door, and sang very melodiously, a love song. She replied with another, and quick as lightning, I observed her, whilst the sentinal had his back momentarily turned, pitch her glove to the young man, he drew a billet doux from the glove, read it, and writing an answer which he placed in the little mail bag, he returned to the door and pitched the glove to his lady love without being seen by the sentinal. I am thus particular in these details, because it was a love affair, prosecuted under more difficulties than any I had ever known. Wrote to my wife for the fourth time since I have been here. Have received no tidings from her. Thoughts of her, and home, and children drive all idea of sleep away. How I exist with so little rest is a mystery to me.

Next, Removal of the Sentinal


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