Civil War Diary of Nancy Criner Whiting 1863-1866

Civil War Diary
of Nancy Criner Whiting

Nancy Criner Whiting and her sister Eliza, wife of Newell Whiting, were living in the North, their brothers were in the Confederate Army. Neither Edwin or Newell fought with the North.

February 13, 1863,
Friday: Cloudy but not very cold. It drizzled rain most of the day. The children were very much afraid they could not go to the party (in Onawa 11 miles away) but it stopped raining long enough to get started. There was quite a wagonload of us. Myrick, Libbie, Lucy and myself and the children. We managed to get there without getting cold but as it came dark it rained quite hard. I concluded to leave all the children at Newell’s (who lived in Onawa) but Julia. Ida was not well. We had a nice supper and would have had a nice time if it had not been so wet and sloppy.

February 14, 1863
Saturday: About daylight Saturday morning the wind changed into the north and it was very cold. Eliza was taken very sick in the night and I concluded to remain with her until she got better. The rest of them went home but nearly froze.

February 16, 1863
Monday: Cloudy but not cold. Liza is still quite sick but we feel in hopes she is getting better.

February 17, 1863
Tuesday: It rained slowly a part of the day. Myrick and Libbie came to Onawa. Libbie will stay a few days and let me go home and see how Edwin and the children get along keeping house.

February 18, 1863
Wednesday: I came home with Myrick. It rained most of the way; when I got home they were much pleased to see Ella and me. Julia and Ida were getting along very well keeping house; they had some trouble at first but they thought it would be an advantage to them. Liza’s cough was growing worse. Newell called in the doctor before I left.

March 4, 1863
Wednesday: The past week has been spent in taking care of my sister. Oh, how anxiously we have watched over her day and night, hoping one hour for her recovery and the next we almost give up all hopes of her ever getting well.

March 5, 1863
Thursday: This morning about 8 o’clock Sister Eliza breathed her last. She is freed from all pain. Her soul has gone to unite with her darling child in heaven but oh how desolate we shall be without her. No one knows my feelings at this moment. Oh shall it be that I shall never again in this world look upon one of my brothers and sisters again. Oh, if I could only get one letter from them how much it would ease this aching heart.

Note: In February 1866
Nancy writes: "My diary has been laid away almost three years. Many sorrowful days I have had in that time. Death entered our family and took from us my two good brothers – after all I have had many happy days with my family."

Kindly contributed by Catherine Cassady Quinn

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