Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
Civil War and Reconstruction
The South During the Civil War
Evan Walker Describes Yankee Horrors

The following document is an excerpt from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 from Texas. In it Evan Walker describes several unspeakable acts committed by Yankees during the war. What were these acts and how unusual are such acts in war time?

View the entire interview with Mr. Walker. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.

"I was five years old during the Civil War, but I remember once back in Arkansas, during the war, there was seven jail hackers come into our house and stood my father up in front of the fire place, with several guns pointing in his face. They were going through the house and carrying out everything they wanted, and we children were screaming and crying to the top of our voices. Finally, my father called for the captain and told him he had aprotection or pass from General Blont, which he offered to the captain. But the captain claimed to be a Penn Indian and could not read English and asked my father to read it for him. After my father had read it, the soldiers brought back everything they had taken from the house. And I want to state that that was the only house standing in that part of the country next morning. All you could see was the chimney to a house and an apple orchard. The Yankees had burned them all.

"I remember an old man named Freshour. He was old and deaf and he was walking along and the Yankees came up behind him and hollered at him to stop. Of course he did not hear them and they shot him in the back and killed him. My mother and some more ladies had to dig a grave and bury him, for my father and two brothers who were home on a furlough had already gone back to the Southern Army. There were no other men in the country. My two brothers were also home the night the Yankees raided our house, but they were hid up in the attic while the Northern soldiers were there.

"On this same raid they went into the home of two of my uncles and took them out and hung them to their own gate post. They were both big men and were my mother's brothers. My mother was there and saw it all and as long as she lived she never got over the shock. I don't know why they called it a civil war, I think it was the cruelest war we have ever had. We lived right on the line between the North and South and could often hear both cannons firing. I had five brothers in the Southern Army right in the thick of the fighting and not one of them was ever wounded."
top of page

View the entire interview with Mr. Walker from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.