February 1864

February 1, 1864

In school. Evening, down the street. Saw [Ed] Sauter [who] took me up to the 43d Illinois [and] introduced me to some Captain. Had whiskey [and] got drunk. Came back. Sauter to supper with me. Down the street. Got oysters. Pretty boozy – both of us.

February 1864 Page from RLG Diary, Arkansas History Commission

February 1864 Page from RLG Diary, Arkansas History Commission

February 2, 1864

Fay and Lee Hempstead came today. Up to Mrs. Fulton’s. Paid rent for January ($26.00). Saw Egan. Nothing new. I will give up having Mick [Egan] do anything for me. He is a low dog, big-headed, afflicted terribly & infidel & all. He has made too many promises to me to let me have any confidence in him. I shall not trust him any more. When I get my money back, he may slide & go where he pleases. (Paid $4.00 for cleaning privy.)

February 3, 1864

In school. Down the street. Bid Mary Dodge goodbye. She is going with her father to Vermont tomorrow to school. At Dodge’s [drug] store with Delano. Mick Egan came round & we went to Mr. Wassell’s studying anatomy a little. Mrs. Randolph, Wassell’s daughter, is a fine woman, I vow she is. Mick saw Capt. [Albert] Potthoff, the Quartermaster [of the 43d Illinois Infantry]. He does not want me for a clerk. I have given the thing up. I will take boarders if I can.

Capt. Potts, Quartermaster of 43rd Illinois

Capt. Potthoff, Quartermaster of 43rd Illinois, befriended Goodrich in Little Rock

February 4, 1864

In school. saw Egan. At [George H.] Gibbs’ book store. Said he thought I could get a clerkship in the Treasury office at three dollars per day. I am going to see. Had a flare up with Mary tonight. She says she is going to get a place somewhere else & leave her mother here & the rest of them. Go it then.

February 5, 1864

In school. Down the street. [George] Gibbs laughed at me when I said that I was going to keep a boarding house. In evening, Sauter came up. We went down the street, got some beer ($6.25), at theatre, got acquainted with Capt. Manning. Sauter came up [the street] with me about twelve o’clock. Got to bed about one.

February 6, 1864

Saturday. Cold. At Dodge’s [drug] store nearly all day.

February 7, 1864

Sunday. At church in morning. Afternoon, Egan here. Evening, Sauter & Flower [here].

February 8, 1864

In school. Mrs. Lange came with her nephew to school this morning. Evening, Yoest here. Nothing new. Yoest gave me a book – a medical one on fevers.

February 9, 1864

In school. Saw Egan at shop. He uses great languages like this, “She has utter confidence in him.”  Nearly eight o’clock and no one came [to school] yet. I am so glad. It has been a bore to have so many visitors. As soon as I get the negroes in here to teach, someone will be sure to pop in. Julius Bridges went down the street & was complaining amongst some soldiers how the feds acted out in the country & that he was going to get up a company to put a stop to it. They fell upon him & beat him soundly. A bone in his arm is broken. Let him attend to his own business then.

February 10, 1864

In school. Nothing new. Down the street. Yoest here in the evening. It is really a nuisance. He is an ugly fellow, one-eyed, but he thinks he is awful on women, that they all are in love with him & that there is some electrical influence about him which draws them to him. Fudge.

February 11, 1864

In school. Turned Charles Drennan out [of my school]. Got two quarts whiskey from Flower. Delano [Dodge] here in the evening.

February 12, 1864

In school. Nothing new. Sauter here in the evening.

February 13, 1864

Saturday. Got a letter from home.

February 14, 1864

Sunday. Morning, at church. Rainy last night. Sauter here drunk as could be. [He] went to bed here, got up at two [in the morning] & went home. About noon [today, he] came here & went to bed. Egan came. Bill, the black boy, says [when] Mary was in my room one evening & the door at the Bridge’s rooms were open, he saw them looking through the key hole into my room & laughing. I wonder if they have seen me in my capers with Mary. Tonight the Bridges have kept up a rumpus all the evening. Some buzzards there with them.

February 15, 1864

In school. Nothing new. Down the street. Mad tonight as blazes.

February 16, 1864

In school. cold. Down the street. Nothing new. Yoest & Flower here in evening.

February 17, 1864

Cold. In school. Nothing new. Down the street. Yoest here in the evening & brought a vaginal syringe for me. He says that he will try to get medicine for a woman to take when with child in order to destroy the fetus.

February 18, 1864

In school. Cold. Down the street at Delano [Dodge’s]. Flower here. Did not succeed in getting medicine. I got some aloes for Mary (35 cents).

February 19, 1864

In school. Cold. Had a fuss with Harry Drennen. Sent for Mr. Scott. Told me to whip him well. Down the street. [Ernest] Wiedemann & [his] wife came up from Washington [Arkansas]. He has a buggy & two ponies. Took me a ride. Evening, Yoest & Flower here till nearly eleven o’clock.

February 20, 1864

Saturday. Fixing windows. Emily & Mary mad as hell. Mary said she was going off. Well let her if she wants to. I will get one negro girl & then keep off doing of niggers that are wont to hover round here.

Went down & took the Oath of Allegiance to U. S.   I wish I was out of the country.

February 21, 1864

Sunday. At church.

February 22, 1864

In school. Down the street. Treated Dell Dodge to lager ($1.00). Egan here in the evening.

February 23, 1864

In school. Down the street. Mick Egan has heard that his brother Frank is dead. Epstein came to board with me today. He sleeps here & takes breakfast & supper [for which he] pays me twenty dollars a month. Nothing new.

February 24, 1864

In school. Nothing new. Down the street at Delano Dodge’s. Saw Sauter. Egan here. He feels badly about his brother being dead. I feel sorry for Mrs. Egan. Epstein here. Cobb has left town. I do not think I will ever get the money for the cotton.

February 25, 1864

In school. Sick with cold. Nothing new. Egan & Yoest here in the evening. Egan said he spoke to [Thomas D.] Merrick who is in the Treasurer’s Office to get me a place – said he would try. I hope he will see, but I have no expectations now for anything. I have been disappointed so often that I do not care. It seems as if I was not intended to make money. Well, so be it if I can’t.

February 26, 1864

In school. Nothing new. Down the street. Evening, Yoest here. (Paid 25 cents for 1 oz. chamomile.)

February 27, 1864

Saturday. At Post Office. Got letter from [Willoughby] Babcock. Wants me to get a commission in Engineer’s Corps D’ Afrique. Sent me an order. Got letter from [Wheeler] Bristol. Says he can get me a situation in Cincinnati. Got letter from [my cousin] Lucy Stratton. Saw Sauter & Cobb. [We] all got beer ($2.00). Cobb made up friends [and got] drunk. We had to carry him to bed. [We] had high times in the evening. Answered letters to Babcock and Bristol.

February 28, 1864

Sunday. Rainy & cold. At home in the morning. At church in evening. Sent letter off to Babcock today. I wish I could make up my mind which to do [when I] think of going to Cincinnati and to New Orleans – a Lieutenant’s commission in the Engineer’s Corp is not to be despised.

February 29, 1864

In school. Cold & sleeting. Few boys there [at school]. Down the street. Nothing new.


The 43rd Illinois Infantry Regiment came to Little Rock in September 1863 with General Steele’s expeditionary force and remained bivouacked there until March 1864.

Rebecca E. Wassell married William M. Randolph, a native of Tennessee, who became a law partner with Augustus H. Garland in Little Rock, Arkansas, prior to the Civil War.  In December 1861, Randolph was appointed Confederate States district attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas.  Fleeing Little Rock during the Union occupation in September 1863, Randolph lived in southern Arkansas until January 1864 at which time he obtained assurances from the military authorities that he could return to Little Rock and resume his profession if he would take an oath of allegiance to the union. In 1865, the Randolph’s moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Source: Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans, by William S. Speer.

Julius C. Bridges was the 24 year-old son of Benjamin F. Bridges, Jr. (1797-1851) and Mary C. Henagan (1800-1864), identified in a previous footnote.  His older sisters were Eliza (Mrs. Margood), and Mattie Bridges. Early in the Civil War, Julius appears to have served in Company A of the 4 Battalion Arkansas Infantry.

Apparently the word “Fudge” – meaning “humbug” – was used as early as at least 1838. The expression is found defined in the 1838 book, Memoirs of the Life & Adventures of Colonel Maceroni.

This entry is the first indication that Goodrich’s concubine – his house servant Mary – had become pregnant with his child.  In the 1860’s, miscarriages were often intentionally induced by administering various herbal concoctions – known as abortifacients – with a vaginal syringe. A dilution of Pennyroyal (a mint family herb) was commonly used to cause abortion by expansion of the uterus. According to one source, as many as 25 different abortifacients were being sold in pharmacies by the 1860’s.

The exude from the leaves of an Aloe plant can be used to create an abortifacient.

The letter from Willoughby Babcock, the former law partner of Nathaniel Davis in Owego, New York and now Lieut. Col. of the 75th New York Volunteers — appears below:

January 29, 1864   New Orleans, Louisiana
R. L. Goodrich, Esq. Little Rock, Arkansas

Babcock's Letter, Arkansas History Commission

Babcock’s Letter, Arkansas History Commission

My Dear Sir. I received your favor of January 7th a few days ago, & today your former letter has come to hand. The former letter was delayed by reason of its having been directed to me as Major of the 76th New York Volunteers whereas I write myself Lieut.-Colonel of 75th New York Volunteers.

The only mode which occurs to me to aid you is the one I have adopted which has resulted in making the order which I enclose to you. Should you come, I would recommend you to endeavor to go into the Engineers. I enclose in relation to it. I think the Quarter Master Department at Little Rock will give you transportation to New Orleans on the order you have. You would be delayed in New Orleans perhaps two or three weeks before you could be commissioned and assigned to duty. If you object to the color of the Corps d’ Afrique, I will only assure you that we do not sneer it down here, & that many better men than you and I have gone into it as officers in all grades.

In haste, your friend, — Willoughby Babcock

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