February 1, 1863
Sunday. Reading. Evening, at Methodist church. Good sermon.
February 2, 1863
In school. At [Solon] Borland’s. Col. Borland there. He is going to take his girls to Tulip [Arkansas]. Payton English came [to school] today.
February 3, 1863
In school. At Borland’s. (Paid $25.00 for board and washing.)
February 4, 1863
In school. Shower.
February 5, 1863
In school. At Borland’s. [Col. Solon Borland’s girls] are extremely foolish children. I will be glad when they go. It will cause me less trouble. Awful cold.
February 6, 1863
In school. At Borland’s. Nothing new. (Paid $1.50 for tobacco.)
February 7, 1863
Down the street. At [Rev. Norman] Graves.’ Afternoon, at [Capt.] Syberg’s. Mathews is taking French lessons of Syberg. Syberg told me that I had a great deal of impudence to teach French when I knew nothing of it. He is a damned fool; vain as a peacock. He don’t know so much of it as I do.
February 8, 1863
Sunday. Fire this morning at home. Called on Mathews. Nothing new.
February 9, 1863
In school. Had two new boys. At Borland’s.
February 10, 1863
In school. Rainy.
February 11, 1863
In school. Hard work. Feel sick. Nothing new.
February 12, 1863
In school. Sam Churchill came [to my school] today. Hard working. [Feel] used up.
February 13, 1863
In school. At Borland’s. As sharp as ever.
February 14, 1863
Morning, reading & studying. Afternoon, went down the street. Was taken up by the guard. I showed them my exemption [papers and they] showed it to the Captain. [He] said he could not let me off [and] took me to the guard house. From there [I was] taken to Col. [Asa S.] Morgan. The Lieutenant said I was exempt, but a squirt of a boy said I was not and that nothing was said in the [conscription] law about exempting school teachers. He dallied some time and then sent me to [Brigadier General Dandridge] McRae’s camp, two miles off and terribly muddy.
Got to [Dandridge] McRae’s camp [and McRae said he] could not let me off. He is an old fool. McConneghey is his Adjutant General. He told him, “Stick him in a company” and off they did – into an Irish one. I got up a statement and had the Captain of the company approve it, and the Major [too], to be sent to [General Thomas] Hindman. I stayed in camp all night [and] was forbid to go to town.
February 15, 1863
Sunday. I sent up to [Capt. John D.] Adams to get me out. I heard that no guards were out and so I went to town about eleven o’clock. Came to [Capt.] Syberg’s. He took my exemption [paper] and went to [Benjamin F.] Danley. [Capt.] Adams got Henry Moore sent to [Gen. Theophilus] Holmes and together got my release. Wrote my exemption & after dinner, I took it out to camp. [Dandridge] McRae did not want to let me off. He blustered at me and said school teachers had no business to be teaching. I got off & gave him a little of my mind. Got back [to town] and went to church. The Captain I showed my paper to asked if I was in the Government school. He said I was not exempted if I was detailed and had not a detailed school.
February 16, 1863
In school. Saw [Capt. John D.] Adams. Laughed over it a good deal. Had a new scholar, William Hutt.
February 17, 1863
February 18, 1863
In school. Willie Curran has gone to Mathews’ [school instead of mine].
February 19, 1863
In school. At Borland’s.
February 20, 1863
In school. Sick.
February 21, 1863
At home. Rainy. Down the street. Sick with diarrhea. (Paid 50 cents for medicine.)
February 22, 1863
Sunday. At home all day. Sick. Sam Adams called to see me.
February 23, 1863
No school. Grand parade at the college. Attended. Saw [Thomas C.] Dupree.
February 24, 1863
In school. At Borland’s. (Paid $3.50 for necktie.)
February 25, 1863
February 26, 1863
Pleasant. At Borland’s. Nothing new.
February 27, 1863
In school. At Borland’s.
February 28, 1863
Down the street. (Paid $20.00 for a hat; $2.00 for tobacco.)
This Sam Churchill must have been the 4 year-old son of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, then a prisoner in St. Louis. Sam would become Goodrich’s brother-in-law when Goodrich married Sam’s younger sister Juliette three decades later.
Dandridge McRae (1829-1899) grew up in Alabama but settled in Searcy, Arkansas after graduating from South Carolina College in 1849. He practiced law and was clerk of the county and circuit court for six years. He resigned his position as state inspector general at the outbreak of the Civil War and joined the Confederate service. He led troops at Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge and was commissioned a Brigadier General in December 1862. In February 1863, at the time of this encounter with Ralph Goodrich, he was wintering at a camp two miles from Little Rock following a campaign against Union General Blunt in the Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas.
William Spence Hutt was the 14 year-old son of Andre’ J. Hutt and Francisa E. Gaines who came to Little Rock in 1837. William would grow up to be a prominent grocer in Little Rock. His father was a Grand Master of the I.O.O.F. of the State and was the mayor of the city in 1852-3.
William Curran was the 8 year-old son of James Moore Curran and Sophie Fulton – the daughter of Ex-Governor William Savin Fulton. James Curran was a prominent attorney in Little Rock who died in 1854 at the age if 32. He purchased in 1849 the home now known as Curran Hall that has been restored as a Visitor’s Center at 615 E. Capitol Avenue in Little Rock. By 1870, William Curran was living with his grandmother, Matilda Fulton.
Thomas C. Dupree enlisted as a private in Company H of the 2d Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Rifles and eventually became its Captain. This unit served under General Churchill during the Kentucky campaign.