The 1863 Diary of J.P. Hawkins.
One volume, 81pp, entries dated Mar. 17-Apr. 6th, recording his experiences as Southern Express Co. courier delivering 8 million dollars for the Confederate Government to a Maj. C.E. Carr in Jackson, Miss. A few excerpts: "Nearly fall off of wagon going up to Southern Depot. Cold - snow blowing hard - no train out all hauling troops - back to Petersburg office truck our money in...Snow about 10 inches deep & still snowing awful hard - load our money in Box Express car - & leave P-Burg about 10 OC...Get out at every station & watch car until we leave ride in there some - but the corpses smell very bad...I go down to Exp. Off. & try and warm. Express off a very small wood building - crowded so that you cannot turn around & so dark you cannot see. Seem to have plenty Exps men here - about one dozen laying around...we are 10 hrs running the 96m road all mashed down in awful condition...one heavy run off - where the train run into a river & cars engine & all went down drowning & killing 60 persons - only about 40 found great many buried side of the road about 2 feet of the tender sticking above the water & quicksand have not found the engine yet that is broke loose & sunk beyond reach - afraid of this road & very glad when we get to our journeys end."
etc. In contrast to the breathless tone of the first two diaries, Hawkins in these entries gives the reader a rare day-by-day glimpse into the life of a traveler in the war-time south: "...beautiful view going out to Tensaw River Gulls & ducks in abundance 5 Iron clads & 2 Gun Boats lying in the harbour at anchor within sight pass the forts built on piles & splendid batteries."
And in contrast to these frequently poetic descriptions, there are observations like this one: "Riots in Richmond last week - 3 or 400 a perfect mob - breaking open stores & taking what they want - one in P-burg also but quelled by city council with a promise of $150000 - it looks bad - god deliver us from them...The North jubilant over idea of starving us out."