Pianos and Furniture for Northern Homes
From: Bernhard1848@att.net
It is ironic that Lincoln sent North Carolina unionist Edward Stanly to Northern-occupied areas of the Tarheel State in early 1862 to restore Union sentiment, but Stanly gave up after observing shipload after shipload of stolen household goods leave for the North. He found that this was a "war for the emancipation furniture," and waging war on defenseless old men, women and children.
Bernhard Thuersam, Executive Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Post Office Box 328
Wilmington, NC 28402
Pianos and Furniture for Northern Homes:
"…..(I)t was during the winter of 1862-63 that General Foster made a raid from New Berne up to near Tarboro, NC, and as soon as I could ascertain his designs and objective I began to concentrate troops to meet him. Foster was at a village about twelve miles distant. In the morning Foster was far away on his road to New Berne….it was cold and snow covered the ground, and pursuit was useless except by cavalry.
I am quite sure vandalism (especially stealing) commenced in New Berne, for the pianos and furniture shipped from there decorate to-day many a Northern home. At Hamilton most of the dwellings had been entered, mirrors broken, furniture smashed, doors torn from their hinges, and especially were the feather beds emptied into the streets, spokes of carriage wheels broken , and cows shot in the fields by the roadside, etc. It was a pitiful sight to see the women and children in their destitute condition. Alas! Toward the end (of the war) it was an everyday occurrence, and the main object of small expeditions was to steal private property.
(Two Wars, General Samuel G. French, Confederate Veteran Publishing, 1901, pp. 150-152)