[Editor’s Note: After obtaining his discharge on 24 March 1862, Ralph Goodrich made his way back to Little Rock where he obtained temporary employment doing some clerical work for the State Treasurer’s Office and temporary room and board in the household of Dr. Roderick L. Dodge. Ralph resumed his diary, ironically, on 7 April 1862 – the same day that his former Confederate unit was repulsed on the Battlefield of Shiloh.]
April 7, 1862
Monday. Rainy. Mathews gave me a pair of pants. Went down the street [and] got tobacco [for] 50 cents [and] cloth brush [for] 75 cents. At house all day. Nothing to hear or see – dull.
April 8, 1862
Reading & writing. Rainy. Went to [James Allen] Martin’s in the State Treasurer’s Office. He said I could come on Thursday. Called on Scheifler at school.
April 9, 1862
Cold. Heard the children recite. Reading. Down the street, got my pants mended. Had to pay $1.50.
April 10, 1862
Went to work in the [State] Treasurer’s Office numbering & dating bills.
April 11, 1862
Rainy. At work at the office.
April 12, 1862
At work. Called on Mathews in evening.
April 13, 1862
Sunday. At church. Called on Dr. Scheifler after dinner. Talking. Went to church with him. Went back to office & down to Grave’s. He went to the Presbyterian Church after supper and while standing at the hymn, fell dead by an apoplectic fit. Good God, Thou has taken him – my only friend, my true adviser. Thou has torn & lacerated my heart. Give me strength to bear up. May he be with [me] always, may his advice and brotherly counsel forever abide with me. I saw a short time after I returned [to Little Rock after my discharge from the Confederate service] & remarked that he had a bad cold. He said yes, [that] he was consumptive & he thought he had but a short time to remain here. He has traveled all over Europe, Egypt, Cuba & America, understands almost all the languages of Europe – Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, and the Egyptian Hieroglyphics. He had written two volumes on travels & had one Literature nearly finished, both of which he was going to publish after peace [returned]. His acquirements were great indeed. There was nothing about which he did not know something. He told me today that he was nearly 28 years old and he could study two years longer & then he would consider himself Master. He thought of going to South America as a missionary. I asked him who wrote The Culprit Fay and he told me Joseph Rodman Drake. He knows we had a pleasant conversation. We quoted & read Burns. He says Festus has some fine passages but on the whole it is not a book of the first quality. Oh dear friend. I came back [from the war only] to see thou die, long after thou and others believed that I had gone to the land where thou art now. I have lost in thee a great treasure. The doctor’s bled him but could draw no blood. They said probably if it was not for his asthmatic affliction, he might have lived. This is my In Memorium to be enlarged when I feel better.
April 14, 1862
Went down to Mr. Graves & saw Dr. Scheifler. He looked as if he was sleeping and smiling. I could scarcely restrain my tears. At the office, [I found myself] continually think of him. [I went] down there [again] at noon. Funeral at half past four. Rode in a fine carriage with [Ernest] Wiedemann & his wife [Thea]. George & Saracen want me to take the school. Evening, down to [Ernest] Wiedemann’s. Talking with Mrs. [Eliza] Dodge.
April 15, 1862
At work. I have decided to take the school. Saw Dr. Wheat & he told me to. He got a letter from Pine Bluff & the man says probably an opening [for a teacher] will be there in 2 months.
April 16, 1862
At work. Afternoon rainy. Sold my overshirts for $6.00.
April 17, 1862
At work. Wrote off 1150 bill today & if paid according as some of the [treasury] officers, I would have made $7.00.
Night, went to see Mr. Graves. They told me a good deal about Dr. Scheifler. He had been in this country from ten to twelve years, & he said he had been [here] only four. He said he was nearly 28 years old, but he was at least 33 or 35 years old. He said unintentionally that he saw the falling stars & was in Munich which took place in 1832. He said he had $3,000 in New York, but not a cent has he there. He only had 125 ½ dollars when he died. Mr. Graves said he spent it in a manner which did not become a minister. He told Mrs. Graves that when she came & called me the night I got to sleep when I was sitting up with Mr. Graves, that I said it was a very indelicate act. She came with her night gown on or off. Mrs. Graves said she wished I would get killed if I said any such thing. Scheifler was something as odone shebear. His hair was getting gray. A Miss Lawrence some way connected with the Notts of New York fell in love with Scheifler but they would not let her marry him because he was a German. In the morning the day Scheifler died, at the breakfast table, he repeated the verse from the bible, “Arise, take up thy bed & go home.” The real reading as he said, but in our bible, it is “Arise, take up thy bed & walk.” He was an incubus on Mr. Graves. Mr. Graves was going to ship him when this session was out. He was a strange mysterious man. He was spirited away by what disease no one absolutely knows. What he has passed through, what he has suffered, and the members he has deceived, no one can tell. He was in the sense of the word the poor tilt a true Bohemian. I should judge from what I hear now that he was an unprincipled man, going under his clerical profession as a cloak.
April 18, 1862
At work. Saw Judge [Daniel] Ringo [about renting a school room]. Got the room for $5.00 a month. Paid him 10 dollars. Saw Graves. Told me more of Scheifler. Scheifler had told me that he had written two volumes of travels. Graves says he has not left hardly a single line except a few sermons. He has lied as no man of his profession would. His morals are in some dispute. He spent his money, no one knows how or where. He was ambitious of getting along & up in the world & he did not care by what means. He did not do as well as he expected and he became dejected, sorrowful – it preyed on his spirit and he died. He thought by getting into the Episcopal Church would be to his interest & he tried & succeeded, but done it with a good deal of tact & cunning though. I do not believe that he was sincere in the least. I don’t believe he had much religion at all. He may have been taking opium or some other narcotic. He was capable of a good deal that was noble & a good deal that was base.
April 19, 1862
Saturday. Cold & rainy. At work. I have been in the [State] Treasurer’s Office 9 days.
April 20, 1862
Sunday. At Sunday school. Rainy. Afternoon, at [Ernest] Weidemann’s. He said Scheifler had not written travels [and] that he was a perfect riddle to him. Scheifler told several times who should be his pall bearers, what Weidemann should play at his funeral, and often said he would not live long. A German saying is that, “If you paint the Devil on the wall, he will come to get you.”
April 21, 1862
Began school. Had thirteen [scholars]. [Editor’s Note: See roster of 13 at bottom of web page.] Dr. [Roderick L.] Dodge told me to get another place to board. Could not. I feel badly.
April 22, 1862
In school. Got a place [to board] at Mrs. [Sarah] Adamson’s. Mrs. [Eliza] Dodge asked me nothing for staying here.
April 23, 1862
In school. Afternoon, moved to Mrs. Adamson’s. Down street. Louis Kumpe got home. Like the [boarding] place pretty well. Cool & pleasant here.
April 24, 1862
Warm. In school. Down street after school. Saw Fulsom. Nothing new. Wrote letters to [cousin Lucy] Fiddis & [Henry] Handerson the 22nd and sent them that day. Reading in the afternoon.
April 25, 1862
Rainy in the morning. Down street in afternoon. Got my deed from Dr. [Roderick L.] Dodge. Miss Eddy here in the evening – a school mistress. I do not know what to do for a living. I do not know whether to practice law or medicine. If I had started on medicine, I could have done better in this country than at law. But I will get out of debt first. I ought to think what I shall do for a business now & be preparing myself for it. I think I will study medicine.
April 26, 1862
Down to Dr. [Roderick L.] Dodge’s. Had a pleasant call. Down to Graves’. Saw Mr. [James] Martin & the fellows at the [State] Treasury Office. Reading.
April 27, 1862
At Presbyterian Church. Reading. I have made up my mind to study Spanish & when I can go to Cuba and teach. I think I can do better & make some money. So I will get some books & commence the study of that language. Evening, heard Mr. Sample preach. It was on the unpardonable sin. He thought when a man dies in his sin, he then commits a crime against the holy Ghost. When a person is indifferent to salvation & finally the Holy Spirit leaves him.
April 28, 1862
Warm. In school. Down street in afternoon. Got my pay of $20 at the Treasurer’s Office. Paid tax on land $4.80. One part was not advertised correctly & I have lost it. Reading Church History at Prayer Meeting.
April 29, 1862
In school. Reading. Down the street. Fulsom said he would recite to me in Latin and then told me that he had not time now [as] he is taking lessons of Graves. Got a Spanish book of [Ernest] Weidemann’s to study. Rather cool today. Nothing new. Saw Mathews.
April 30, 1862
In school. Studying Spanish. Down to see [Ernest] Weidemann. The Graves are stingy and miserly. They want all of Dr. Scheifler’s things. Nothing new.
This is most likely James Allan Martin, age 31, in 1862. Martin served “four years as deputy State treasurer, under treasurers John Quindley and Oliver Basham, and was appointed treasurer on the death of the latter who was killed at Pilot Knob, Missouri. During the last two years of the war he was a member of Capt. Watkin’s company, in Hawthorne’s regiment, and served as clerk in the adjutant’s office under Gen. Fagan most of the time. He subsequently served in the same capacity under Gen. Hawthorne, and spent the last four months of his service in the Topographical Bureau of the engineer’s department, at Shreveport, La.” Source: Goodspeed’s History of Pulaski County, 1889.
Ernest Wiedemann was born 13 December 1823 in Potsdam, Prussia [Germany]. In April 1862, he was a teacher of music and foreign languages living in Little Rock with his wife Thea (also from Germany) and their two children. The Wiedemann’s lived for a time in Illinois before settling in Arkansas. Living with the family in 1860 was Wilhelmine Lange (born May 1832), the sister of either Ernest or Thea. She and her husband, “Paddy” Lange, appear to have been living in a state of separation. Paddy Lange would eventually go into a partnership with Goodrich in the saloon business.
According to court papers filed in Hempstead County, Arkansas in 1866, Ernest Wiedemann stood 5 feet 2 inches tall, had a full round face with a short, double chin, had gray eyes, dark chestnut hair, a low, broad forehead, a fair complexion, and wore a mustache and imperiale (tuft of hair under the lower lip).
In the Little Rock City Directory 1897-8, Ernest Wiedemann is still shown as a Professor of Music at 1523 Center Street.
Judge Daniel Ringo (1803-1873) was the Chief Justice of the Arkansas State Supreme Court from 1836-1844, and Judge of the U.S. District Court for Arkansas from 1844-1861.
Dr. Roderick Lathrop Dodge was one of the earliest citizens of Little Rock. He was born in 1808 in Vermont, graduated from Dartmouth College and the Philadelphia Medical College, and then worked as a missionary physician among the Indians. In 1842, he came to Little Rock, practiced medicine and embarked in the drug business with a store on East Markham Street. He was married first to Emmeline Bradshaw, then to Eliza Bradshaw.
Mrs. Sarah [Carter] Adamson was the widow of planter John Adamson who died in July 1861 at age 66. Born on 27 July 1799, Sarah was a native of Pennsylvania and was, prior to her marriage in February 1844, a school teacher in Little Rock. In the 1860 U.S. Census, John Adamson’s real estate was valued at $25,000 and his personal property was valued at $20,000. Living in the household at that time were Lewis Adamson, born in Maryland about 1824, Henry P. Adamson (a “Pork Packer”), born in Illinois about 1839, and Sophia T. Adamson, born in Arkansas about 1850. John Adamson’s first wife, Rebecca, died in May 1843. In Carl Moneyhon’s book, The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on Arkansas (page 41), it is reported that when John Adamson’s estate was assessed in 1860, he was “a sixty-five-year-old planter, merchant, and steamboat owner with land and slaves…[who] left an estate that included two dining tables, one card table, twenty-three assorted chairs, three large mirrors, a bookcase and books, one mahogany workstand, one green-painted workstand, a dressing table, six different beds, two shuck mattresses, and two cotton mattresses; his dining room contained a bureau, six silver tablespoons, six silver teaspoons, a dozen dessert knives and forks, a half dozen common knives and forks, and a china tea set; the kitchen was outfitted with a cooking stove, crockery, pots and kettles, and utensils. The appraisers even listed the brass andirons, a pair of iron andirons, shovel and tongs, and eighty yards of carpeting. The most valuable item in the list was a silver watch with gold chain and seal, assessed at $30.”
Louis Kumpe enlisted in Company A (the “Capitol Guards”) of the 6th Arkansas Infantry on 1 September 1861, the same day as Ralph. He was discharged from Confederate service on 15 April 1862.
ROSTER OF BOYS ATTENDING RALPH L. GOODRICH’S SCHOOL
IN LITTLE ROCK, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS
On April 21, 1862:
1 John Knapp
2 Lee Hempstead
3 John Ray
4 George Jones
5 Willie Batt
6 Charles Gaynor
7 Michael Gaynor
8 George Botts
9 Harry Dyer
10 Roger McRae
11 Loni George
12 Albert Wassel
13 Willie Henry