November 25, 1860/2010
Volume 1, Issue 7 (7 Issues Since 15 October 2010)
Southern Merchant Distracted from Sermon Ponders Ruinous Disunion
November 25, 1860.
Atlanta bookseller Samuel Pearce Richards
(1824-1910) kept a diary for 67 years. On this date, a Sunday, he wrote:
“. . . Bro Warren preached about ‘Sheep,’ . . . and about Christ as the Shepherd, but my mind wandered much to other matters, as is too often the case nowadays. Thoughts of “tomorrow” will obtrude themselves and the future looks dark and uncertain. ‘Disunion’ seems imminent and that I fear will prove ruinous to our business. How strange it is that the fanaticism of the North should be so encouraged by the mass of the people at the price of peace and Union of the whole country! Why can’t they mind their own business and let us take care of ours? They will regret it when it is too late, I guess.”
Unionist Joins Confederacy
Richards was a Unionist until 1860 when his sympathies shifted to the Confederacy. The Richards were among the last loyalists to leave Atlanta when Sherman’s troops forced evacuation of the city. His “recollections of the Union bombardment, the evacuation of the city, the looting of his store, and the influx of Yankee forces are riveting.”
— From the book description for Civil War Diary: A Chronicle of the Atlanta Home Front.
Samuel Pearce Richards,
Atlanta Businessman and Diarist